THE Rain or Shine Elasto Painters came up with all the stops right when they needed it the most as they defeated the TNT Tropang Giga, 80-74, to barge into the quarterfinal round of the PBA Philippine Cup on Tuesday, November 10, at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena in Pampanga.
Norbert Torres, Kris Rosales and Javee Mocon came up with six unanswered points with under a minute left in the contest that shattered a 74-all tie and give the E-Painters the crucial victory that sealed the door shut on the NLEX Road Warriors.
Rain or Shine led by as much as 10 in the fourth quarter but TNT came roaring back and tied the game at 74-all after a leaner by Poy Erram. However, on the ensuing possession, Torres broke free and was fouled on his drive to the basket. He missed the first but made the second to shove the E-Painters in front, 75-74, with 50 ticks left.
After a TNT’s Troy Rosario missed on an ill-advised three-pointer, Rosales scored on a layup to give Rain or Shine a 77-74 lead. TNT still had shot at tying the game but Rosario committed an offensive foul to give possession back to Rain or Shine. Mocon then made three free-throws in the game’s final moments to seal the victory, Rain or Shine’s sixth in 10 games.
Mocon and James Yap led Rain or Shine with 16 points each, while Beau Belga and Mark Borboran added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The loss by TNT dropped them to 7-4, opening up the possibility of a seven-way tie for second place in the standings. The Tropang Giga, though, can rest assured they own a superior quotient over the rest of the field. (JNP)