MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine picked up its first win and denied Barangay Ginebra a franchise milestone with a 104-81 victory in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, June 7.
Rey Nambatac fired a career-high 30 points off 7 triples as the Elasto Painters stopped a two-game skid and prevented the Gin Kings from becoming the second team in league history to reach 1,000 wins.
The sophomore guard waxed hot all game long, draining all of his 3 two-point attempts and missing only 4 of his 11 long bombs.
Denzel Bowles, meanwhile, also clinched his first win as a Rain or Shine player as he backstopped Nambatac with 25 points, 17 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks at the expense of former coach Tim Cone.
Bowles and Cone won a PBA championship together, back when they were both part of the B-Meg Llamados who went to rule the 2012 Commissioner's Cup.
The game hardly looked like it will result to a blowout as Ginebra managed to stay within single digit early the final frame, 68-75, off a Justin Brownlee bucket.
However, the Elasto Painters rode on a sterling 17-2 run right after courtesy of rookies Javee Mocon and Jjay Alejandro to build a 92-70 advantage and never looked back.
Mocon had 11 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals, Beau Belga chipped in 9 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds, while Alejandro added 4 points in limited minutes.
Justin Brownlee was his usual self with 30 points, 17 rebounds, and 5 steals, but the Gin Kings just could not stretch their winning streak to 3 games as they slipped to 2-2.
Japeth Aguilar was the only other Ginebra player in double figures with 17 points, while LA Tenorio added 8 points and 3 assists.
Rain or Shine 104 - Nambatac 30, Bowles 25, Mocon 11, Belga 9, Yap 8, Norwood 5, Daquioag 5, Borboran 4, Alejandro 4, Torres 3, Ponferada 0, Rosales 0, Onwubere 0.
Ginebra 81 - Brownlee 30, Aguilar 17, Tenorio 8, Mercado 5, Mariano 4, Thompson 4, Slaughter 4, Ferrer 3, Teodoro 3, Devance 2, Caperal 1, Cruz 0.
Quarters: 26-25, 54-45, 75-66, 104-81
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.