Rain or Shine erected a huge 19-point lead, before hanging tough in the face of TNT’s massive fourth-quarter rally to eke out a 106-102 win, forcing a do-or-die PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinal match on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
- Hot from rainbow territory: Showing their 32-point victory over the Katropa in the eliminations was no fluke, the Elasto Painters peppered the no. 2 seed with 16 three-pointers.
- Bullock was smoking: J’Nathan Bullock led Rain or Shine’s torrid shooting from the three-point arc after going 7-of-12 from downtown. His seventh three-point shot with over 7 minutes left in the game gave ROS a 100-81 bubble.
- Strong comeback: TNT though refused to roll and die as it launched a 21-5 bomb, highlighted by import Glen Rice Jr.’s 2-handed slam dunk with 30 seconds to go to close in at 102-105. But ROS proved steadier from there as Maverick Ahanmisi split his charities, before TNT missed its last two three-point attempts that allowed the Elasto Painters to force a sudden death on Friday.
- Equal sharing of wealth: Bullock led Rain or Shine with 31 points, along with 15 rebounds, while Gabe Norwood flirted with a double-double after finishing with 15 points and 9 rebounds, along with 6 assists, while containing Rice to just 19 points. Big man Raymond Almazan had 13 points and 8 rebounds, while Don Trollano, Maverick Ahanmisi and Chris Tiu all contributed 10 points.
- Quote of the match: “We just extended the series. But I told the players from the beginning that we’re a good matchup for TNT from the import to the locals. We basically employ the same system so it’s all about who wants it more.” – Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia
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