PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Rain or Shine nails last playoff berth as Guiao ousts ex-team NLEX

Delfin Dioquino

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Rain or Shine nails last playoff berth as Guiao ousts ex-team NLEX

STILL ALIVE. Ryan Pearson and Rain or Shine catch the playoff bus after toppling NLEX.

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Andrei Caracut and Rey Nambatac come through late as coach Yeng Guiao steers Rain or Shine back to the playoffs and denies his former team NLEX in the sudden death for the last quarterfinal spot

MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine ended a two-conference playoff drought and clinched the last quarterfinal ticket in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after a 110-100 win over NLEX at the PhilSports Arena on Sunday, December 4.

Ryan Pearson shouldered the load with 24 points and 9 rebounds before Andrei Caracut and Rey Nambatac came through late for coach Yeng Guiao, who steered the Elasto Painters to the playoffs in his first conference back.

Guiao did it against his former team as the Road Warriors failed to reach the quarterfinals of the mid-season tournament for the fourth straight time.

Caracut posted 19 points and 7 rebounds, showing the way in the pivotal 14-2 run that broke an 87-87 deadlock and gave Rain or Shine a sizable 12-point lead with under three minutes remaining.

Shooting a healthy 8-of-12 clip from the field, Caracut knocked down a triple and floater in back-to-back possessions before Santi Santillan drained a trey of his own for a 101-89 advantage.

Nambatac then delivered the finishing blow, scoring 7 of his 10 points in a minute-long stretch as the Elasto Painters came out on top in the sudden death for the eighth seed.

Rain or Shine, though, does not get any reprieve as it faces a twice-to-win disadvantage against top seed Bay Area in the quarterfinals.

Nambatac added 8 rebounds, Gian Mamuyac fired 15 points, Mike Nieto chimed in 12 points, Santillan tallied 11 points and 5 rebounds, while Mark Borboran contributed 10 points for the Elasto Painters.

Although his 3 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists do not jump out of the stats sheet, Gabe Norwood made his presence felt for Rain or Shine by pestering NLEX import Earl Clark, who needed 32 shots to rack up a game-high 37 points.

Clark also recorded 16 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks in the loss as the Road Warriors fell short of a quarterfinal berth, putting to waste a stellar end to the elimination round.

NLEX stunned Barangay Ginebra and eliminated sister team Meralco to stay in the playoff hunt but ran out of gas against a familiar face in Guiao.

Don Trollano netted 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Road Warriors.

The Scores

Rain or Shine 110 – Pearson 24, Caracut 19, Nieto 12, Santillan 11, Nambatac 10, Borboran 10, Mamuyac 7, Asistio 5, Norwood 3, Ponferrada 1, Ildefonso 0, Torres 0.

NLEX 100 – Clark 37, Trollano 15, Alas 13, Chua 12, Ganuelas-Rosser 9, Nieto 6, Miranda 3, Varilla 2, Rosales 0.

Quarters: 31-27, 51-43, 80-75, 110-100.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.