Rain or Shine rose to the challenge of an 18-point deficit, a volatile crowd and water bottle-throwing fans last night in hammering out a bone-jarring 82-79 victory over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Wayne Chism had 28 points, including 9 in the fourth quarter when the Elasto Painters went on an 11-0 run to overcome a 79-71 Kings lead with four minutes remaining and post their sixth win in nine games.
That tied the E-Painters with defending champion Purefoods and Talk ‘N Text at second spot while sending Ginebra to a 4-5 record and its second straight heartbreaking collapse.
Paul Lee, who had 11 rebounds behind Chism’s 17, added 18 points, none bigger than a 3-point shot with 1:22 left that put ROS within 78-79. A Chism tipped basket made it 80-79 and the chaotic ending saw the NBA D-Leaguer sealing the triumph with two free throws with 8.6 seconds to go.
Beau Belga, booed every time he touched the ball after he engaged the predominantly Ginebra crowd with suggestive acts on the foul line, was the target of a plastic water bottle thrown into the playing court with 4:24 left. He had the last laugh though after smothering Mac Baracael’s jumper at the buzzer.
Like in the NLEX game where they blew a 21-point advantage, the Kings fell in disarray after the E-Painters started whittling down an 18-point second quarter lead, using a 10-2 run to end the period and come within 48-38 at the half.
ROS then outscored Ginebra, 27-15, in the third quarter where Lee and JR Quinahan each drilled in 3-pointers and Ginebra reserve Dorian Pena came off the bench and rammed a forearm at the chest of lanky E-Painters center Raymond Almazan, drawing both benches.
Ginebra still had a 79-73 lead with three minutes remaining. But LA Tenorio, cold from the bench, turned the ball over and then missed an all-alone fast break layup to open the door for Rain or Shine.
Meanwhile, a third quarter-ending jam that would have rated a 10 for NLEX forward KG Canaleta in the PBA All-Star Dunk Contest, and a torrid outside shooting that would have given the Three-Point King a run for his money, keyed the NLEX Road Warriors’ 94-81 rout of Globalport Batang Pier.
Canaleta unloaded 29 points, including six three-point shots and a thunderous slam in the second half.
NLEX 94 – Canaleta 29, Thornton 19, Ramos 14, Taulava 8, Lingganay 7, Villanueva E. 4, Borboran 4, Baloria 3, Cardona 2, Villanueva J. 2, Arboleda H. 2.
GLOBALPORT 81 – Caracter 27, Romeo 19, Semerad 12, Jensen 8, Nabong 6, Miranda 5, Espinas 3, Ponferrada 1, Buenafe 0, Isip 0, Pinto 0.
Quarters: 20-16, 40-36, 65-53, 94-81
RAIN OR SHINE 82 – Chism 28, Lee 18, Belga 11, Quinahan 8, Ibanes 6, Almazan 5, Uyloan 2, Arana 2,Cruz 2, Norwood 0, Chan 0, Tiu 0.
GINEBRA 79 – Dunigan 24, Slaughter 10, Aguilar 9, Ellis 9, Caguioa 8, Tenorio 7, Yeo 7, Monfort 3, Baracael 2, Pena 0.
Quarters: 15-24, 38-48, 65-63, 82-79