Photo by KC Cruz/PBA Images
The Elasto Painters had another good shooting night with TY Tang, Chris Tiu, Paul Lee, Ryan Araña and Beau Belga conspiring for 6 triples. They also had the added bonus of getting a stellar performance from rookie Alex Nuyles, who led Rain or Shine with 16 markers, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
"Alex (Nuyles) played a good game. I was planning to give Raymond Almazan some extended minutes but he got into foul trouble early so we just made do with whatever was available for him," said Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao. "It's really just about bringing up the rookies."
Rain or Shine recovered quickly from a slow start in the first quarter to take the lead at 22-20 after the first 12 minutes. They continued to press on the gas pedal in the second period, riding on the hot hands of Tiu and Tang, who buried timely triples and snuffed Globalport's momentum.
Guiao's wards then dropped 34 points in the third quarter to build a comfortable 80-67 lead heading into the fourth.
Globalport, who was playing sans Sol Mercado (Achilles injury) and los Terrence Romeo to fouls early in the fourth, attempted to come back late in the game. They cut the deficit to 9, 92-83, on a Nico Salva jumper with over 4 minutes left but the rookie-laden team could not convert towards the end despite multiple possessions.
"It's really a win we wanted badly because we lost to this team the first time we played them," Guiao explained. "It would've been a more satisfying win if Sol Mercado was playing.
"We prepared our game plan defending against Sol Mercado. He really created problems for us the first time we played them. Nagulat kami (we were surprised) but at the same time it was a lucky break for us."
In Mercado's absence, Jay Washington still continued to play consistently, posting 26 points and 11 boards along with 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks.
Batang Pier rookie Justin Chua also made his presence felt on the defensive end, grabbing 9 rebounds and swatting the ball away 4 times.
Rain or Shine continues to keep in step with league leaders Barangay Ginebra and Petron Blaze Boosters with an 8-3 record. Globalport, on the other hand, is on a 4-game losing slide at 4-7.
Rain or Shine (98): Nuyles 16, Cruz 12, Tang 12, Chan 11, Tiu 10, Lee 9, Araña 8, Belga 5, Rodriguez 5, Norwood 5, Almazan 3, Quiñahan 2
Globalport (87): Washington 26, Salva 11, Romeo 10, Garcia 9, Hayes 7, Chua 5, Yee 4, Menk 4, Nabong 4, Salvador 3, Lingganay 2, Revilla 2
Quarter scores: 22-20, 46-38, 80-67, 98-87 -Rappler.com