PBA Governors' Cup

Huge Rain or Shine third-quarter rally buries new-look Blackwater

JR Isaga
Huge Rain or Shine third-quarter rally buries new-look Blackwater

ALL-AROUND. Rain or Shine's Javee Mocon drives to the basket against Blackwater's Paul Desiderio.

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Rain or Shine comes out charging in the second half to send Blackwater crashing to a league record 20th straight loss dating back to 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters began their 2021 PBA Governor’s Cup run on a high note after blowing out the retooled Blackwater Bossing, 92-79, on Thursday, December 9 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Longtime PBA import Henry Walker led the balanced attack with 20 points and 8 rebounds for the Painters, who turned a 35-41 halftime deficit to a 60-45 lead off a massive 25-4 third-quarter start, capped by a Rey Nambatac triple at the 5:41 mark.

Just like that, it was all Rain or Shine from that point as they peaked with a 20-point gap, 78-58, off a Beau Belga layup with 7:07 left in regulation.

Prior to giving up a huge run to begin the second half, Blackwater actually started very well from tip-off, 22-9, thanks to their new additions like ex-Terrafirma guard Rashawn McCarthy and longtime Alaska floor general JV Casio. Blackwater also tapped new coach Ariel Vanguardia in the hopes to turn its fortunes around.

However, the defensive-minded Painters side just slowly chipped away at the gap before finally taking control of the latter half, and ultimately sent Blackwater crashing to a league record 20th straight loss dating back to the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup.

“Everybody talks about our culture of just finding a way. Our players just found a way today,” said Rain or Shine head coach Chris Gavina after the game. “Rey and I knew we had jitters because it’s just the first game, and there’s a nervous factor in the first half.”

“But when we saw our import get aggressive, that’s where we got our confidence.”

Rain or Shine stars Javee Mocon and Rey Nambatac backstopped Walker in the win with 16 points apiece, while veteran Gabe Norwood scattered 11 markers, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block across the board.

McCarthy led the sorry loss in scoring with 15 points, 9 boards, and 4 assists, while Baser Amer added 14 markers and 7 dimes.

Young big man Barkley Ebona, who was shipped to Blackwater along with Casio, showed off with a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double off the bench in 27 minutes, besting import Jaylen Bond’s line of 13 markers and 11 boards in 43 minutes.

Rain or Shine returns to action on Saturday, December 11, in a 6:45 pm match against the Terrafirma Dyip, while Blackwater will start the double-header at 4 pm against the Phoenix Fuel Masters.

The Scores

Rain or Shine 92 – Walker 20, Nambatac 16, Mocon 16, Norwood 11, Belga 10, Jackson 5, Ponferrada 4, Asistio 3, Caracut 3, Santillan 3, Tolentino 1, Wong 0, Torres 0.

Blackwater 79 – McCarthy 15, Amer 14, Ebona 14, Bond 13, Casio 10, Desiderio 5, Paras 3, Escoto 3, McAloney 2, Chauca 0, Daquioag 0, Canaleta 0, Torralba 0.

Quarters: 14-24, 35-41, 66-53, 92-79.

– Rappler.com