MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine had enough gas left in the tank to fend off Meralco, 88-85, at the Cuneta Astrodome on Friday, March 15, and head into the playoffs of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup on the right foot.
The Elasto Painters snapped a two-game skid and bolstered their chances of a top 2 finish, which comes with a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, as they remained at 2nd place with an 8-3 record.
It almost ended in a loss for Rain or Shine as James Yap and Beau Belga split their freebies late and left the comeback door ajar for Meralco, 87-85.
However, Baser Amer missed the potential game-winning triple for the Bolts with 5 seconds remaining as Belga sealed the win by going 1-of-2 at the line.
Yap finished with a team-high 14 points, Ed Daquioag chalked up 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals while Javee Mocon and Maverick Ahanmisi combined for 20 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists in the win.
Norbert Torres had 9 points, Kris Rosales added 8 while Rey Nambatac chipped in 7 points for Rain or Shine, which now awaits for its quarterfinals opponent.
Nico Salva fired 18 points and Reynel Hugnatan delivered 16 points in the loss as Meralco's record fell to 3-6.
Rain or Shine 88 – Yap 14, Daquioag 12, Ahanmisi 10, Mocon 10, Torres 9, Rosales 8, Nambatac 7, Borboran 6, Norwood 5, Belga 4, Ponferada 3.
Meralco 85 – Salva 18, Hugnatan 16, Faundo 10, Amer 10, Hodge 8, Newsome 7, Canaleta 7, Jackson 7, Quinto 2, Pinto 0, Tolomia 0.
Quarters: 20-26, 44-35, 66-65, 88-85.
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.