Bounces back from a Sorry Loss to Ginebra
|Gabe Norwood and Chris Tiu had 8 rebounds each in the win (Photo by PBA Media Bureau)|
Coming off a defeat, the Rain or Shine knew exactly what they needed to do for them to avoid facing complication come playoff time and they did it right and they did it now. The Elasto Painters immediately returned to their winning form after dominating the Alaska Aces who was missing the services of Calvin Abueva, 112-82 at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.
Knowing that the importance of this game with regards to their playoffs positioning, the Elasto Painters went back to work after wasting an opportunity against the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings. They continuously frustrated the offense of the Aces, a team who were hoping to finish an unforgettable conference on a high note. Rain or Shine, despite the struggles of import, J'Nathan Bullock during the early stages of the game, managed to hold a double-digit lead during the first half alone.
To give credit to the players of Alex Compton, the Aces were able to keep within striking distance during the first quarter and they even managed to take the lead before the Elasto Painters strengthened their defense and the Aces started to miss shots that they normally make. And true to form, the Elasto Painters' defense limited the Aces to make only 36% of their shots in the first half alone while they made the most of their opportunity, shooting 46% in the field. Even as the Aces sliced up the lead to 16 points during the early stages of the 3rd quarter, Raymund Amazan, Jericho Cruz and the rest of the Elasto Painters continued to pound on the points to bring the lead up to 24 again with 6:43 left in the 3rd. That lead eventually ballooned to 31 points heading into the 4th quarter.
To sum it up, Rain or Shine did everything that Coach Caloy Garcia wanted them to do. In fact, Bullock didn't have to produce big numbers in this particular game. Beau Belga for one, scored points off thebench. Chris Tiu played one of his best games this conference to finish with 9 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. For the Aces on the other hand, the absence of Abueva was proven to be too much to handle as LaDontae Henton led all scorers with 20 points on 8 of 17 shooting night including 1 out of 5 from the three-point line. Only Henton and Tony dela Cruz scored in double figures as the latter finished with 12 points. Bullock, for his part, led Rain or Shine with 14 points and 4 rebounds but had some reinforcements this time around.
Rain or Shine
Bullock 14, Cruz 12, Belga 12, Trollano 11, Tiu 9, Robles 9, Borboran 9, Almazan 7, Yap 6, Ahanmisi 5, Matias 4, King 4, Daquioag 4, Norwood 3, Maiquez 3, Ponferada 0
Henton 20, dela Cruz 12, Encisco 9, Manuel 9, Pascual 8, Casio 5, Exciminiano 5, Baclao 4, Galinguez 3, Cruz 3, Mendoza 2, Hontiveros 2, Abuev 0, Banchero 0, Thoss 0, Racal 0
29-23, 63-41, 92-61, 112-82