ANTIPOLO—Blowing hot early and finding the resilience to bounce back from a lethargic stretch in the third, Rain or Shine on Wednesday night tripped Phoenix Petroleum, 116-111, to stay in the top four hunt in the PBA Governors’ Cup at Ynares Center here.
The Elasto Painters saw an 18-point lead in the first half vanish but regrouped with aplomb when winning time came to rise to 5-3 and gain a momentary tie for No. 4 with San Miguel Beer heading into the final two weeks of the elimination round.
Rain or Shine couldn’t afford to lose this one, as it closes out against Barangay Ginebra, Alaska and souped-up Blackwater in its chase for a twice-to-beat privilege in the quarterfinals.
“We were lucky to win this game,” Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia said after Gilas Pilipinas regulars Raymond Almazan and Gabe Norwood bailed the Painters out in the fourth. “We started strong, but our intensity was down in the third period.
TNT KaTropa began life without Ranidel de Ocampo by formalizing its entry into the quarterfinals after holding back NLEX, 112-107, later in the night.
Glen Rice Jr. churned out a triple double with 25 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists that negated a night-high nine turnovers as the Texters won for the second straight game to improve to 6-3 and take solo third at the moment.
The starting lineup delivered in twin digits for the Texters, who dealt away De Ocampo to Meralco in a three-team trade on Monday as TNT went on to deal the Road Warriors their third loss in 10 games.
NLEX gets another chance to nail a twice-to-beat incentive on Sept. 24 against Star.
Phoenix is out of contention after the Fuel Masters lost for the eighth straight game and dropped to 2-8.
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.