MANILA, Philippines – The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters barged into the semi-finals as they outplayed the Globalport Batang Pier in the clutch en route to a 106-96 victory on Wednesday, January 22 in the PLDT myDSL Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Beau Belga shot a clutch three-pointer – one that he was practicing about two hours earlier with the lights still dim – with 40 seconds remaining to douse water on the Batang Pier’s sizzling endgame rally that saw them inch to within two, 96-98, on a Rudy Lingganay bucket off the break with 3:22 remaining.
Belga was also practicing his free throw shooting long before the opening buzzer sounded but he made only 3 of his 6 free throws in the final two minutes. He finished with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals.
Globalport looked like all the air was punched out of them as they forced shots and committed costly turnovers as the clock winded down and their hopes of extending their season faded away.
“Globalport put up a tough fight. They kept coming back and we couldn’t put them away,” admitted Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao. “It’s going to be a good solid team with more experience.”
Globalport’s subpar performance in the final two minutes of the game revealed just how inexperienced they still are as a unit. They failed to capitalize on opportunities to tie the game or even grab the lead.
At the same time, it showed just how dangerous Rain or Shine is with their unique combination of talent, depth and heavy experience.
“We kept our win streak but we couldn’t really focus on that,” Guiao said.
While Globalport executed plays as precisely as they could, Rain or Shine’s defense was clearly better.
Jervy Cruz was a workhorse for Rain or Shine as he quietly clocked in 18 points and pulled down 8 rebounds.
For Globalport, Terrence Romeo appeared to be the only one playing with a sense of urgency, torching the Painters for 23 points. He scored 19 in the first half, which allowed Globalport to stay within striking distance after the first two quarters, 60-52.
Rain or Shine 106: Cruz 18, Belga 17, Rodriguez 16, Norwood 14, Araña 10, Lee 10, Quiñahan 5, Tang 5, Almazan 4, Tiu 3, Nuyles 2, Teng 2, Ibanes 0.
Globalport 96: Romeo 23, Nabong 18, Mercado 16, Yee 7, Menk 7, Hayes 6, Salvador 6, Lingganay 5, Chua 4, Ponferrada 4, Belencion 0, Salva 0, Garcia 0.
Quarterscores: 35-29, 60-52, 86-77, 106-96.
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