MANILA, Philippines – Big games from Gian Mamuyac and Mike Nieto and the return of Steve Taylor Jr. lifted Rain or Shine past Meralco, 113-96, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena on Saturday, October 22.
Mamuyac and Nieto combined for 42 points while Taylor came back from health and safety protocols as the Elasto Painters snapped their two-game skid to improve to an even 3-3 and added to the slumping Bolts’ woes.
Sidelined in their loss to TNT that forced Rain or Shine to play with an all-Filipino lineup, Taylor made up for his absence with a solid outing of 22 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.
But rookie Mamuyac and sophomore Nieto stole the show.
Mamuyac kept his side afloat by firing 9 of his career-high 21 points in the opening quarter where the Elasto Painters had a sloppy start that saw them trail 26-34.
Nieto then showed the way in their third-quarter breakaway, scattering 8 of his career-high-tying 21 points in the period as Rain or Shine entered the final salvo with an 89-77 advantage.
Rey Nambatac also delivered for the Elasto Painters with 10 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds off the bench, while Andrei Caracut and Anton Asistio added 10 and 9 points, respectively.
Meralco import Johnny O’Bryant rebounded from his measly seven-point outing the last time out with 30 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks, but those numbers went for naught as the Bolts wasted a 14-point lead.
Up 32-18 midway through the opening frame, Meralco got outscored 39-18 for the rest of the first half and saw Rain or Shine grab a 57-50 lead at halftime.
It did not help the Bolts’ cause when star guard Aaron Black left the game in the third quarter following an inadvertent elbow to the head from Nambatac.
Black finished with 4 points, 5 assists, and 2 rebounds before exiting with seven minutes left in the third period.
Raymond Almazan delivered 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Bong Quinto tallied 19 points and 9 rebounds for Meralco, which slid to 1-5.
Rain or Shine 113 – Taylor Jr. 22, Mamuyac 21, Nieto 21, Caracut 10, Nambatac 10, Asistio 9, Torres 8, Belga 6, Santillan 4, Ponferrada 2, Borboran 0, Norwood 0.
Meralco 96 – O’Bryant 30, Almazan 20, Quinto 19, Caram 14, Maliksi 7, Black 4, Banchero 2, Hodge 0, Pasaol 0, Pascual 0.
Quarters: 26-34, 57-50, 89-77, 113-96.