Rain or Shine stuns Kings

Manila Bulletin - - Sports - By JONAS TERRADO

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

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