PBA Saturday: RoS silences Lucena’s pro-Ginebra crowd for first win

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After falling short each time in four tries, it appears that the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters just needed a whiff of some provincial air to finally barge into the win column.

What’s even better than ending a long losing streak? Doing it at the expense of crowd darlings Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

FOX Sports Philippines gives you all the goods from the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup foray in the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.

Embracing the jeers

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It’s no secret that Ginebra holds the home court advantage anywhere they go in the country, but it did not stop Rain or Shine from tuning out the jeers from the Lucena-based Ginebra nation.

Beau Belga fully embraced his antagonist persona, while Maverick Ahanmisi got booed every time he touched the rock after figuring in a brief scuffle with LA Tenorio.

After building a 51-44 lead at the half, the Elasto Painters came out swinging in the third and went on a 14-0 run to distance themselves from the Commissioners’ Cup champs. They preserved the margin until the final buzzer to escape with a 104-97 win.

RoS import Terrence Watson, who dealt with food poisoning in his first two games, came to life and terrorized the opposing team at both ends of the floor, recording game-highs of 29 points, 19 boards, and 6 rejections.

His counterpart Justin Brownlee, meanwhile, narrowly missed a triple-double with 23 points, 16 rebounds, and 9 assists.

A jewel in the rough

With Raymond Almazan still AWOL and Beau Belga saddled with foul trouble, Rain or Shine needed another big man to step up against Ginebra’s mighty frontline.

Jewel Ponferada heeded the call, scoring a season-best 18 markers to go along with 5 rebounds. He shot a pristine 8-for-8 from inside the arc and played terrific defense on Japeth Aguilar, who struggled all night for the Barangay.

After nabbing the Best Player of the Game, the former NU center was quick to deflect the credit to his teammates.

“Sinunod lang naming yung game plan nila coach Caloy and hindi lang naman ako kasi pati yung iba kong teammates nag step-up din,” he told FOX Sports Philippines after the game.

Who says Gabe can’t shoot?

Known primarily as a lockdown defender when he first came into the league in 2008, Gabe Norwood has steadily improved the chink in his armour and has become a reliable shooter from deep.

In five games so far in this conference, the 6’6 swingman is making 45 percent of his attempts from downtown.

Norwood finished with 12 points on 3-5 shooting from three last night, including this dagger of a triple with 2:26 minutes left that sealed the victory for Rain or Shine.

Oh, and let’s not forget that he can fly with the best of them.

Art dela Cruz makes his Ginebra debut

Recovering from a ruptured achilles  is no joke, and Art dela Cruz beat the odds to finally make his long-awaited Ginebra debut on Saturday night.

After more than a year of rehabilitation, the former San Beda Red Lion checked in at the 9-minute mark of the second quarter.

The do-it-all point forward showed a glimpse of his versatility, posting two points, two rebounds, one steal, and one assist in just six-and-a-half minutes of action.

Can Ginebra finish in the top 4?

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After yesterday’s defeat, Ginebra dropped to third place at a 7-2 slate, just behind Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok (6-1) and the Alaska Aces (5-1).

With only two games left in the round robin eliminations, the team must defeat Magnolia and TNT Katropa to finish above the surging Blackwater and Phoenix squads.

For now, Ginebra will enjoy a well-deserved two-week break and return to action on October 28.

(Images from PBA)

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