The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters stamped their mastery over the second-seeded TNT KaTropa Texters with a 106-102 victory in the quarterfinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The victory enabled the E-Painters to erase the Texters’ twice-to-beat advantage and force a decider on Friday for the right to advance to the semifinals.
It marked the second time ROS defeated TNT in this conference. The E-Painters beat the Texters in their elimination round game on Aug. 20 with a whopping 32-point margin, 105-73.
The top-seeded Meralco Bolts, TNT’s sister team, also lost their playoff match against eight-seeded Blackwater on Tuesday, marking the first time that the top two seeds were forced to play sudden death matches since the 2001 All-Filipino Cup, according to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III.
Just like in their previous meeting, the E-Painters stunned the Painters with their long-range guns, propelling them to take a 20-point fourth-quarter lead. ROS hit 16 three-pointers, with J’Nathan Bullock accounting for seven of them. The ROS import finished with a team-high 31 points along with 15 rebounds in over 43 minutes of action.
Gabe Norwood also caught fire from long distance, burying four three-pointers to finish with 15 markers along with nine caroms, six assists, two steals, and one block in 33 minutes.
Raymond Almazan added 13 points, eight boards and two blocks, while Maverick Ahanmisi and Don Trollano chipped in 10 apiece. An Ahanmisi layup gave the E-Painters their biggest lead, 102-82, halfway through the fourth quarter.
However, with only 6:30 left, the Texters launched a blistering 20-4 run that cut ROS lead to four, 104-100, with 51 ticks remaining.
TNT could have sustained their uprising when Troy Rosario stole a pass from Norwood in the ensuing play. However, Norwood made a counter-steal off Rosario’s own pass to allow ROS to regain possession. Two free throws in the final 33 seconds finally sealed the win for ROS.
Kelly Williams and Jayson Castro led the Texters with 23 and 22 points, respectively. Williams also had 10 rebounds, two assists, one steal, and just one turnover in almost 39 minutes of play.
Glen Rice Jr. was limited by the pesky ROS defense to just 19 points on a subpar 8-of-28 shooting from the field. Anthony Semerad also had 19 points while Troy Rosario chipped in 10 markers and 16 rebounds.
Rain or Shine 106 – Bullock 31, Norwood 15, Almazan 13, Ahanmisi 10, Trollano 10, Cruz 8, Belga 5, Borboran 2, Daquioag 2, Ponferada 0.
TNTKaTropa 102 – Williams 23, Castro 22, Semerad 19, Rice 19, Rosario 10, Pogoy 7, Seigle 2, Tautuaa 0.
Quarters: 26-28; 52-47; 84-75; 106-102.