LUCENA CITY — The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters tapped the services of former San Miguel Beermen reinforcement Terrence Watson after returning import J’Nathan Bullock failed to live up to expectations in their first two games.
But after a subpar debut against the Alaska Aces where he went 3-for-15 from the field for 10 points — followed by another uninspired effort in their loss to the Blackwater Elite — it appeared that coach Caloy Garcia might soon seek a third import in 2018 Governors’ Cup.
Still winless in their four matches heading in to the clash versus the erstwhile top-seeded Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, the Elastopainters finally attained that elusive first win after a timely explosion from the 31-year-old Michigan native.
With their backs against the wall, Watson erupted for 29 points, 19 rebounds, and 6 block shots in Rain or Shine’s 104-97 victory inside the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City on Saturday.
“I just wanted to be aggressive. Last game I only had nine shots up. In my two games combined I only took 21 shots,” Watson, who made half of his 24 attempts last night, told FOX Sports Philippines after the game.
“What the people don’t know is the first time I got here is I had one practice and I had a bad case of food poisoning when we had a game,” he shared.
“I had to stay in the hotel for three days and then I had to come out to the hospital and go straight to our second game. So today is the first day that I was able to put two practices together and play.”
After shaking off the stomach virus, Watson had a noticeable spring in his step and commanded his team’s magnificent 14-0 run in the third quarter to pull away from the crowd favorites.
Ginebra tried to channel their ‘Never Say Die’ attitude and make a run in the fourth, but Watson’s crucial baskets and defensive stops down the stretch completely shut the door for coach Tim Cone’s squad.