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by Jonas TerradoGames Wednesday
Manila, Philippines – Defending champion Rain or Shine survived the resurgence by an old gunslinger in the fourth quarter before leaning on crucial baskets by import Sean Taggart and Jeff Chan in overtime to hack out a 99-95 victory over Mahindra last night for its second straight win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Taggart scored four points while Chan hit a corner trey during a 9-2 windup that enabled the Elasto Painters to come away with their second straight victory after needing an extra five-minute extension despite an explosion from former Gilas Pilipinas standout Gary David.
David rediscovered the form he showed during his memorable 2011-12 season for Powerade by scoring all 13 points during a searing rally that put Mahindra on top, 86-80, with 2:31 remaining in the fourth.
But Rain or Shine answered with an 8-2 run to tie the game, then Mahindra import James White, who in an earlier possession blocked a potential go-ahead layup by Chan, missed a jumper at the buzzer.
Rain or Shine was on the brink of losing when a Bong Galanza triple made it 93-90 for Mahindra with more than three minutes left in the extension, before finding ways to eke out a win – its second in three days after a 103-95 triumph over former coach Yeng Guiao and NLEX.
“After a big win against NLEX, I think we came out very relaxed. Basically we have to look at that, and look at where we went at the beginning,” said Elasto Painters coach Caloy Garcia, who celebrated his 42nd birthday yesterday.
Taggart finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks while James Yap and Beau Belga added 12 apiece for the Elasto Painters to gain the early lead in the mid-season tournament.
White likewise scored 29 but missed two crucial free throws after a deliberate foul by Raymond Almazan with less than a minute to play in overtime and Mahindra behind 99-95. Had White made those foul shots, the Floodbuster would have a chance to tie the game since they had retained possession.
Mahindra’s second straight loss spoiled David’s explosion in the fourth, reviving memories of the form that made him a multiple-time All-Star.
David scored 10 straight points that allowed Mahindra to tie the game at 80-all with 4:33 left in the fourth. White and Philip Paniamogan combined for three of four three throws before David uncorked a triple off Yap that appeared to have put the Floodbuster in safe position at 86-80.
However, David’s trip down memory lane went down the drain after Rain or Shine’s escape act.
RAIN OR SHINE 99 – Taggart 29, Belga 12, Yap 12, Chan 10, Almazan 9, Ahanmisi 8, Washington 6, Pinferada 5, Tiu 5, Cruz 2, Norwood 1, Tolomia 0, Trollano 0.
MAHINDRA 95 – White 29, David 13, Celda 10, Galanza 10, Deutchman 9, Paniamogan 8, Mallari 6, Caperal 4, Revilla 3, Guevarra 2, Salva 1, Araña 0, Ballesteros 0, Nimes 0, Teng 0, Yee 0.
Quarters: 22-24; 45-43; 68-66; 88-88 (Reg); 99-95 (OT).