Painters take top spot, deal Fuel Masters first loss
Rain or Shine gained the top spot after escaping Phoenix, 98-94, in overtime in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters relied on their depth anew with five players finishing in double-figures led by Beau Belga and Kris Rosales, who each had 16 points apiece.
Maverick Ahanmisi added 13 points while Raymond Almazan and Rey Nambatac scored 12 and 10 points, respectively for the Rain or Shine, which climbed to 6-1 and pinned Phoenix its first loss in six games.
“They never gave up and they fought their hearts out,” said Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia, whose squad blew a 14-point lead it built late in the third period.
“I told them in the fourth quarter when they (Phoenix) came back that it’s bound to happen.”
Mark Borboran nailed the game-clinching basket with 12 ticks left after Alex Mallari cut the Painters’ lead down to two, 96-94, with under 40 seconds to go.
Fuel Masters forward Jason Perkins forced extra time with 13 seconds remaining in regulation and James Yap’s deep three fell short as time ran out.
Yap struggled mightily with only two points on 1-of-9 shooting from the field after coming into the game averaging 16.3 points.
“He (Yap) had wide open shots but he just couldn’t make them,” Garcia said.
Fortunately for Rain or Shine, Rosales picked up the slack with a career-high tying performance to give the Painters a big lift.
Perkins led Phoenix with a career-best 27 points on 13-of-20 shooting from the field that went with nine rebounds in a losing effort.
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