PBA Philippine Cup

Patience is key as Rain or Shine continues resurgence by securing playoff berth

Delfin Dioquino

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Patience is key as Rain or Shine continues resurgence by securing playoff berth

VETERAN. Beau Belga in action for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

From an inauspicious 0-4 start, Rain or Shine wins six of its last seven games in the elimination round of the PBA Philippine Cup to earn its place in the quarterfinals

MANILA, Philippines – It took a long time and a lot of patience for Rain or Shine to turn its fortunes around in the PBA Philippine Cup.

From an inauspicious 0-4 start, the Elasto Painters earned their place in the quarterfinals after ending the elimination round with a 120-104 rout of NLEX at the PhilSports Arena on Friday, May 3.

Beau Belga netted 18 points and 4 assists to lead six Rain or Shine players in double-figure scoring as the Elasto Painters won six of their last seven games to become the fourth team to advance to the playoffs this conference.

“I never lost hope. But sometimes, I got frustrated,” said Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao. “You can see the potential of the team but it did not translate in games.”

“We have good practices. You cannot say anything bad about the attitude of the players. They’re all hardworking. So I expect their play to translate in games. But we only needed patience. Now, everything is bearing fruit.”

The Elasto Painters’ 16-point win is exactly what Guiao envisions for his team – a crew in which any player is capable of stepping up.

On Friday, it was Shaun Ildefonso who rose to the occasion as he fired 14 points in an energetic performance highlighted by a couple of three-pointers and the first in-game dunk of his PBA career.

Ildefonso banked a triple that gave Rain or Shine a commanding 106-86 lead then capped the victory with a one-handed jam and a corresponding “raise the roof” celebration popularized by his father and two-time MVP Danny.

Santi Santillan backstopped Belga in scoring with 17 points on top of 9 rebounds and 5 assists, Jhonard Clarito finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds, while Andrei Caracut and Gian Mamuyac chimed in 12 points apiece.

Rookie Keith Datu added 6 points and 3 rebounds in his return from a seven-game absence caused by a knee injury as Rain or Shine ended the eliminations with at least six wins for the first time since the 2021 Philippine Cup.

“We’ll see how far we’ll go,” said Guiao.

Robert Bolick erupted for 38 points on an ultra-efficient 15-of-22 shooting only to see his stellar performance go down the drain as the Road Warriors lost their fourth straight game.

In contrast to the Elasto Painters’ resurgence, NLEX hit a slump after an impressive 5-1 start and fell to 5-5.

The Road Warriors’ defeat also aided idle Barangay Ginebra, which secured the last twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals with a 7-3 record.

Anthony Semerad ended up as the only other NLEX player in twin digits with 18 points.

The Scores

Rain or Shine 120 – Belga 18, Santillan 17, Clarito 15, Ildefonso 14, Caracut 12, Mamuyac 12, Asistio 7, Datu 6, Nocum 6, Borboran 5, Concepcion 3, Demusis 3, Norwood 2, Belo 0, Paredes 0.

NLEX 104 – Bolick 38, Semerad 18, Rodger 9, Valdez 9, Nieto 8, Fajardo 6, Anthony 6, Nermal 6, Miranda 2, Amer 2, Pascual 0, Herndon 0, Marcelo 0.

Quarters: 30-23, 62-43, 97-74, 120-104.

– 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.