Elasto Painters edge Bolts to stay in hunt

Rain or Shine is not done just yet.

The Elasto Painters staved off elimination with a fiery finish to escape No. 2 Meralco, 83-81, and stay in the hunt for a spot in the quarterfinals in the 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday night.

Richard Ross was brilliant all game, scoring a game-high of 26 points with 12 rebounds for a double-double, while Rey Nambatac was equally as impressive, dropping 24 points  to power Rain or Shine.

Rain or Shine’s Jewel Ponferada soars for a basket and challenges Meralco’s Allen Durham.
Rain or Shine’s Jewel Ponferada soars for a basket and challenges Meralco’s Allen Durham.
Rain or Shine finished with a 4-7 mark and will now await its fate.

Its placing will be determined depending on the result of the final games of Alaska and NorthPort.

It can either get a quarter’s berth if the quotient system favors it or it might play a playoff for No. 8, the last ticket to the next round.

The Bolts, with the loss, ended the eliminations at 8-3, and they have to settle for the second seed.

Meralco also saw its five-game winning streak snapped and will enter the quarters on a losing note.

Still, the Bolts will get to enjoy a twice-to-beat incentive in the next round against a lower ranked team.

With their backs against the wall, the Elasto Painters dug deep in the fourth when it seemed that they are headed for the exit.

Down 60-69 with under eight minutes remaining, Rain or Shine uncorked a game-turning 17-2 surge midway the fourth to suddenly earn a 77-71 lead following a Nambatac triple with 4:18 remaining.

Still in it, the Bolts inched closer and got within two, 81-83, in the dying seconds with ball in hand following a steal from Allen Durham.

However, Durham and Raymund Almazan failed to convert on close range shots, enabling Rain or Shine to keep the win and its campaign alive.

Durham paced Meralco in the losing cause with his double-double with 23 markers and 16 boards, while Almazan and Baser Amer each added 18.

As of this writing, Barangay Ginebra (7-3) and NorthPort (4-6) are locked in another critical battle for key positioning.

The Batang Pier are trying to book a seat in the quarters while the Gin Kings look to improve their seeding in the top four.

Topics: Rain or Shine Elasto Painters , Meralco Bolts , 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup , PBA
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