It’s trumpeted as Reggie Johnson’s battle with June Mar Fajardo and Christian Standhardinger.
Raymond Almazan stole the thunder in the end.
Almazan endured battles with Fajardo, Standhardinger and Arwind Santos, and seized the moment in overtime as Rain or Shine outlasted San Miguel Beer, 123-119, in a gripping battle to gain the solo lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Ynares Sports Center here Sunday night.
Kept on the bench in the fourth quarter, Almazan scored eight of his 25 points in his return to the floor in the extra period as the E-Painters humbled the SMB super team that lost import Troy Gillenwater on a technical infraction and Fajardo and Santos on fouls.
Almazan produced a double-double game with 14 points that went with his 8-of-12 field shooting and 9-of-16 free throws.
And Johnson, Chris Tiu, Maverick Ahanmisi and Gabe Norwood had their moments early on as they bounced back from their loss to Columbian Dyip the last time out and wrested the solo league leadership with a 4-1 win-loss mark.
Rain or Shine 123 – Johnson 27, Almazan 25, Tiu 16, Ahanmisi 16, Norwood 15, Daquioag 7, Torres 5, Washington 5, Ponferada 4, Yap 3, Onwubere 0.
San Miguel 119 – Santos 29, Fajardo 26, Lassiter 18, Standhardinger 17, Cabagnot 14, Gillenwater 11, Ross 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Espinas 0.
Quarterscores: 30-23, 49-63, 84-90, 112-112, 123-119 (OT).