PBA: Rain or Shine stays unbeaten despite struggle to contain Phoenix bigs
ANTIPOLO—Rain or Shine put up another big second half before scuttling Phoenix’s comeback attempt down the stretch for a 113-104 victory in the PBA On Tour on Friday at Ynares Center here.
Five players scored in double figures as the Elasto Painters won for the second time in as many games while handing the Fuel Masters their first defeat after three starts in the two-month exhibition series.
Coach Yeng Guiao, however, pointed out his undersized team’s difficulty against Phoenix’s frontline, particularly from Raul Soyud who had another strong showing.
“We had a hard time against their bigs who were playing well,” said Guiao. “It was kind of frustrating because we were able to contain their scorers, but we couldn’t contain their big men.”
Andrei Caracut and Nick Demusis scored 15 points apiece while Rey Nambatac made seven of his 14 points in the third when the Elasto Painters broke away after trailing 54-50 at the half.
Rain or Shine scored 41 in the third against Phoenix’s 26 to go into the fourth ahead 91-78.
Nambatac’s triple also assured Rain or Shine of the win when his corner shot made it 113-103 after Phoenix closed to within five barely three minutes to go in the contest.
Mac Belo, who recently signed a one-year deal after being acquired in a trade with Meralco, did not suit up for Rain or Shine but Guiao plans to give him limited minutes against San Miguel Beer on Wednesday.
Soyud finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Fuel Masters while Larry Muyang added 20 points and 12 rebounds.
RAIN OR SHINE 113—Caracut 15, Demusis 15, Nambatac 14, Santillan 13, Asistio 11, Mamuyac 9, Ildefonso 9, Borboran 8, Belga 8, Ponferada 7, Clarito 4, Norwood 0.
PHOENIX 104—Soyud 24, Muyang 20, Alejandro 14, Lalata 13, Jazul 9, Atienza 7, Celda 7, Tio 6, Garcia 4, Rangel 0.
Quarters: 24-16, 50-54, 91-78, 113-104.