THE undermanned Rain or Shine Elasto Painters dug down deep and bucked the absences of several key players to defeat the freefalling Blackwater Elite, 82-71, in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup on Sunday, November 8, at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Pampanga.
The victory, which boosted Rain or Shine’s win-loss record to 5-4, put a stop to their three-game losing slide and kept their chances of snagging one of the top four spots after the elimination round alive. The top four will possess a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Blackwater, on the other hand, just couldn’t get a break and suffered their sixth straight loss to drop to 2-7.
Javee Mocon had a huge double-double for Rain or Shine with 19 points and 13 rebounds to go with two steals and two blocks. The Elasto Painters needed every bit of production from Mocon as they played without James Yap and then lost Rey Nambatac and Beau Belga during the game to injuries.
Belga was pivotal in the third, hitting consecutive three-pointers in Rain or Shine’s 15-0 blast that put them up by 18, 53-35. The wide-bodied big man finished with 14 points and five rebounds.
Blackwater was led by the 15 points of Mac Belo. Roi Sumang and Niño Cañaleta added 11 markers each.