By REYNALD MAGALLON
Demetrius Treadwell lived up to his “Tree” nickname and proved to be an immovable force inside the paint to help Rain or Shine complete a come-from-behind 113-101 victory over NLEX in the 2023 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City on Friday, Dec. 8.
Treadwell anchored his team on both ends of the floor, keeping it afloat in the first three quarters before Keith Datu, Rey Nambatac and Andrei Caracut became the tip of the Elasto Painters’ spear in the furious fourth quarter rally.
The burly Rain or Shine import also dropped his best performance so far with 23 points along with 18 rebounds all while manning the paint for the Elasto Painters who notched their second straight win to keep themselves very much in contention for a playoff spot despite a 0-5 start to the conference.
Caracut and Nambatac,who took turns in rallying Rain or Shine back into the game after trailing by double digits in the third quarter, finished with 12 apiece while Datu added 11 markers built on three triples – two of which he drained during a back-breaking 22-7 rally for the Elasto Painters to open the payoff period.
The run turned an even 84-all contest into a massive 106-91 lead with a little over three minutes left on the clock.
NLEX cut the deficit down to single digit behind back-to-back triples from Don Trollano and import Stokley Chaffee Jr, but Datu retaliated with his third booming triple in the quarter to slam the door on the Road Warriors.
Meantime, NorthPort put on a three-point shooting clinic and claimed the scalp of San Miguel Beer with a statement 115-101 win.
The Batang Pier safely cruised through what was initially expected to be turbulent waters with young guns, led by main man Arvin Tolentino, picking up the slack in the absence of high-scoring import Venky Jois who sat out the contest with a hamstring injury.
Still, his absence was hardly felt as NorthPort, which was coming into the game dead last in three-point shooting with a 27-percent clip, suddenly fired away15 triples on an eye-popping 46 percent shooting to extend its winning run to three for a 5-2 record.
Tolentino led the shooting display with 28 points built on three triples while Joshua Munzon provided support with 16 points while also drilling three treys across his name.
Jeff Chan, Prince Caperal, rookies Brent Paraiso and Fran Yu had two triples each and even John Amores had one in the three-point barrage that served as a dose of own medicine for the Beermen, who, prior to the contest, was the leading three-point shooting team in the conference.
Cade Flores chipped in 15 points, five rebounds and five assists as he manned the paint in Jois absence along with JM Calma who had 11 points and eight boards.