The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters won their fourth straight game, but not before weathering a late three-point flurry by Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 96-93, Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Two free throws by Beau Belga gave Rain or Shine a five-point lead, 92-87, with just 12.2 seconds to go. Mark Caguioa then made a three-pointer in the next play to cut the Ginebra deficit to just two points.
Paul Lee hit two more charity shots for the Elasto Painters, before LA Tenorio nailed another three-point basket to cut Rain or Shine’s lead to a single point.
Belga once again came through for the Elasto Painters from the free throw line with just 3.9 seconds left, and Tenorio’s desperation three-pointer failed to find the target to allow Rain or Shine to book the victory.
Rain or Shine won despite missing Bruno Sundov for most of the second half. For the second straight game, the Croatian import battled foul trouble, playing just 24 minutes and scoring 12 points.
“It’ just a tribute and a credit to the locals for stepping up,” said Rain or Shine coachYengGuiao.
“It’s really just team effort. We don’t have Jeff Chan, our import is playing limited minutes, we’re just finding ways to win.”
Belga stepped up big for Sunday, scoring 18 points, grabbing nine rebounds, and blocking two shots. He also got the best of Vernon Macklin in several plays, faking off the Ginebra import for easy baskets on a few occasions.
Macklin had his best game of the tournament with 27 points — mostly on dunks and free throws — and 16 rebounds. But he was still miserable from the foul line, going just 5-of-11.
Rain or Shine improved its win-loss record to 4-1. The loss, the Gin Kings’ fifth in six games under new coach Alfrancis Chua, sent Ginebra back to last place in the standings.
RAIN OR SHINE 96 – Belga 18, Cruz 13, Sundov 12, Ibanes 12, Lee 11, Arana 11, Quinahan 7, Norwood 5, Tiu 3, Matias 2, Tang 2, Rodriguez 0.
GINEBRA 93 – Macklin 27, Caguioa 18, Raymundo 18, Tenorio 17, Baracael 7, Mamaril 3, Espiritu 2, Hatfield 1, Taha 0, Ellis 0, Labagala 0, Maierhofer 0, Helterbrand 0.
Quarters: 27-23, 51-43, 70-68, 96-93
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