First published: 9.51 p.m., May 19, 2017
Rain or Shine kept its playoff hopes alive while also denying crowd darlings Barangay Ginebra of an outright berth to the quarterfinals with a 118-112 win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday at Cuneta Astrodome.
The Elasto Painters got out of the .500 region and improved to 5-4 while the Gin Kings, who had a chance to join San Miguel as the first ones in the playoffs, slipped to 5-2.
Ginebra held a 10-point lead, 93-83, at the start of the fourth period but this was when the Elasto Painters extended its hand to produce its artistic piece.
Chris Tiu drilled a heart-stopping triple at the 7:37 mark of the period to cap of Rain or Shine’s 17-2 blitz and give the Elasto Painters a 100-95 buffer.
Ginebra, however, managed to take a 111-109 lead with 1:29 left in the game after Justin Brownlee hit a triple to cap off his team’s own 16-9 run.
But this was where Ginebra’s relevance ended as the Elasto Painters found the stroke from the free throw line to ice the match.
“I still felt nervous even if we had a three-point lead down the stretch, because they have the experience and an import who can make those crucial shots,” said Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia. “We’re lucky we were able to hit those free throws.”
Duke Crews was marvelous in his PBA debut racking up a 20-20 line of 28 points and 22 rebounds while Jericho Cruz came off the bench to add 19 points and five borads.
Jay Washington and James Yap also got in the scoring party with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Brownlee put Ginebra on his shoulders as he finished with 38 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. /atm
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.