Rain or Shine stuns Kings
Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum) 4:30 p.m. – NLEX vs Meralco 6:45 p.m. – Magnolia vs Alaska
Rain or Shine was hardly affected by the absence of Raymond Almazan for the third straight game and stunned defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 104-97, last night to enter the win column in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.
Import Terrence Watson finally showed why he was signed to replace J’Nathan Bullock, Jewel Ponferada filled the void left by Almazan while Gabe Norwood knocked down a three-pointer that dashed Ginebra’s hopes of completing a 19-point comeback that enabled the Elasto Painters to end a 0-4 start in the season-ending conference.
Watson had 29 points, 19 rebounds and six blocks, Ponferada turned in 18 points and five rebounds even as Maverick Ahanmisi and Norwood added 12 and 11 points for Rain or Shine in the Petron Saturday Special that snapped Ginebra’s four-game winning streak.
Ginebra dropped to 7-2 for third place, allowing idle Magnolia (6-1) to gain the lead ahead of today’s big match against second-running Alaska (4-1) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Justin Brownlee’s 23 points were enough for the Kings, who opted to sit out Greg Slaughter and Sol Mercado despite hints by coach Tim Cone in the past days to play the two veteran cagers who are coming off injuries.
At least for one night, the Elasto Painters were able to regain the form that made them a perennial playoff contender despite missing Almazan anew due to personal problems.
Elasto Painters management is still taking a wait-and-see approach regarding Almazan’s situation.
Watson rediscovered the productive showing seen last season when he played for the San Miguel Beermen after a lackluster debut nearly two weeks ago due to food poisoning.
But coach Caloy Garcia was perhaps pleased to see Ponferada step up in lieu of Almazan, making 8-of-11 shots in 21 minutes.
With help from Ahanmisi, Beau Belga, Ed Daquioag and Gabe Norwood, Rain or Shine took an 84-65 lead late in the third, much to the dismay of Cone and the Ginebra faithful.
Ginebra inched its way back, with Tenorio getting the lucky bounce from downtown to close the gap to 101-97, less than three minutes to go.
But Norwood responded with a three-point shot from way out, 2:25 left to make it 104-97 for the eventual final tally. The scores: Rain or Shine 104 - Watson 29, Ponferada 18, Ahanmisi 12, Norwood 11, Belga 8, Daquioag 7, Tiu 6, Yap 6, Washington 4, Borboran 3, Onwubere 0.
Ginebra 87 - Brownlee 23, Tenorio 15, Mariano 14, Ferrer 13, Thompson 10, Aguilar 7, Caperal 6, Chan 5, Dela Cruz 2, Caguioa 2.
Quarters: 28-28, 51-44, 87-73, 104-87