Painters force sudden death
RAIN or Shine will live to fight another day. The Elasto Painters managed to survive and stave off elimination after they outmuscled TNT KaTropa in the clutch to pull off a 106-102 victory in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City last night.
J’Nathan Bullock was at his best, scattering 31 points to go along with 14 boards to lead the Painters from start to finish and make sure their campaign doesn’t end just yet.
The No. 7 Elasto Painters, who faced a twice-to-beat disadvantage against the No.2 Texters, led through the first three quarters before breaking away in the fourth to gain the necessary advantage.
Rain or Shine already carried an 84-75 lead into the fourth, but a furious 18-7 run to open the period suddenly gave it a whopping 20-point lead, 102-82, with under six minutes remaining.
The Tropang Texters didn’t go away easily, answering with an 18-2 run to pull to within just four, 104-100, with under a minute to go after two free throws from Glen Rice Jr.
But the Painters stood still in the final minute to hold on and force the sudden-death game tomorrow.
As of this report, the much-anticipated collision between No. 3 Barangay Ginebra and No. 6 San Miguel Beer is currently taking place with the Gin Kings looking to book a seat in the semis and the Beermen hoping to keep their bid for a Grandslam alive.
Ginebra holds a twice-to-beat advantage and can advance should it win.
The winner between the Texters and the Painters will collide with the victor between the Gin Kings and the Beermen.
The action in the quarters continue today at as top seed Meralco and upset-conscious Blackwater face off again in a knockout game at 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to determine who moves forward to the semis in that other side of the bracket.
The No. 8-ranked Elite, a heavy underdog, shocked everyone last Tuesday night when it pulled off a thrilling 92-91 escape over the Bolts to suddenly put itself a game away from the semis with that huge upset.
Still, the Bolts have one more shot at moving forward.
No. 4 Star, which already disposed of NLEX on its first try, awaits the victor in the semis.
RAIN OR SHINE 106 - Bullock 31, Norwood 15, Almazan 13, Ahanmisi 10, Tiu 10, Trollano 10, Cruz 8, Belga 5, Borboran 2, Daquioag 2, Ponferada 0.
TNT 102 - Williams 23, Castro 22, Semerad 19, Rice Jr. 19, Rosario 10, Pogoy 7, Seigle 2, Tautuaa 0, Reyes 0.
Quarters: 26-28, 52-47, 84-75, 106-102.