PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Rain or Shine edges Hollis-Jefferson, TNT for 5th straight win, outright playoff berth

Delfin Dioquino

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Rain or Shine edges Hollis-Jefferson, TNT for 5th straight win, outright playoff berth

NEW IMPORT. Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson in action for the TNT Tropang Giga in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

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Rain or Shine turns its fortunes around from a woeful 0-5 conference start as it qualifies for the quarterfinals after surviving a 50-point explosion by new TNT import Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson

MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine overcame a sensational PBA debut by Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson and survived TNT in a gritty 119-112 win in the Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, January 5.

Demetrius Treadwell produced a massive 25-point, 24-rebound double-double to negate a 50-point explosion by the Tropang Giga import as the Elasto Painters improved to 5-5 to lock up the seventh quarterfinal berth.

Even if Rain or Shine ends up in a three-way logjam with TNT (4-6) and NLEX (3-6) at 5-6, the Elasto Painters own the tiebreaker by virtue of beating both teams.

Andrei Caracut backstopped Treadwell in scoring with 23 points, knocking down a bunch of clutch free throws down the stretch that helped propel resurgent Rain or Shine to its fifth straight win after a woeful 0-5 start.

The Tropang Giga held a 106-104 edge with 3:50 minutes left before Caracut and Treadwell scored 4 points each in an 11-0 blast that gave the Elasto Painters a comfortable 115-106 cushion.

A pair of Calvin Oftana triples pulled TNT within 112-117 with under 25 ticks remaining, but Jhonard Clarito converted a layup to seal the win.

Rey Nambatac chimed in 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists for Rain or Shine, which returned to the playoffs after placing 10th in the Governors’ Cup last season.

Beau Belga added 16 points in the win and Leonard Santillan supplied 10 points and 6 rebounds.

As stellar as Hollis-Jefferson was, he failed to score when it mattered the most, going scoreless in the final 5:30 minutes.

Still, it was a rare feat for Hollis-Jefferson, who took the spot of his injured brother Rondae, as he became just the fifth player in franchise history to hit 50 points, joining Jerod Ward, Damien Cantrell, Asi Taulava, and Jalen Hudson.

Hollis-Jefferson also put up 16 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.

Oftana fired 37 points in the loss that marked the third straight for the Tropang Giga, who are vying for the last quarterfinal spot with their sister team Road Warriors.

The Scores

Rain or Shine 119 – Treadwell 25, Caracut 23, Nambaatc 19, Belga 16, Santillan 10, Clarito 9, Mamuyac 8, Norwood 4, Datu 4, Asistio 1, Borboran 0

TNT 112 – Hollis-Jefferson 50, Oftana 37, Aurin 7, Galinato 6, Khobuntin 6, Heruela 3, Montalbo 2, K.Williams 1, Reyes 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Ponferada 0.

Quarters: 32-31, 66-62, 89-91, 119-112.

– 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.