MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine hit the biggest shots down the stretch to escape Ginebra in Game 2, 109-100, and even their best-of-5 semifinals series in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Thursday, July 19.
Reggie Johnson frolicked in the paint with a near-triple-double of 25 points, 20 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 blocks while Yap finished 18 points for the Elasto Painters, who finally ended the Gin Kings' 8-game winning streaking.
Ginebra was primed to take a commanding 2-0 series lead after a Jeff Chan triple with 3:15 minutes left gave it a 100-97 lead but Rain or Shine answered with a blistering 12-0 run en route to the triumph.
Back-to-back Yap and Gabe Norwood buckets gave the Elasto Painters a 101-100 lead before two straight Johnson and Yap treys within the final two minutes dashed the Gin Kings' hopes of mounting a comeback.
Raymond Almazan buried a jumper with 35 seconds left for the finaly tally.
Norwood chipped in 12 points and 3 rebounds, Chris Tiu chalked up 11 points and 7 assists while Almazan added 10 points, 8 rebounds and two steals in the win.
Ginebra held a 36-26 lead after the maiden period but Rain or Shine chipped away at its deficit to knot the score at 57-all by halftime.
Justin Brownlee had another masterful performance of 29 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, two steals and two blocks but those were not enough for Ginebra, who had been undefeated for more than a month.
Greg Slaughter had 20 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists while LA Tenorio churned out 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in the loss.
Game 3 is on Saturday, July 21, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Rain or Shine (109): Johnson 25, Yap 18, Norwood 12, Tiu 11, Almazan 10, Borboran 9, Daquioag 9, Nambatac 6, Ahanmisi 4, Ponferada 0, Washington 0
Ginebra (100): Brownlee 29, Slaughter 20, Tenorio 17, Thompson 14, Chan 8, Devance 5, Caguioa 4, Ferrer 3, Mercado 0, Cruz 0
Quarter scores: 26-36, 57-57, 87-87, 109-100
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.