League-leading Rain or Shine Elasto Painters formally clinched the No. 1 seed in the elimination phase of the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup following its 106-99 overtime win over the hard-fighting Meralco Bolts, Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Caloy Garcia-mentored squad scored 10 points and held their opponents to only 3 in the extra period to pull off its sixth straight win and along with it the much-coveted twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Burly reinforcement Reggie Johnson paced the Elasto Painters with 21 points, 18 boards, 3 blocks plus an assist and a steal.
The 28-year old former ABL import buried a triple to kick off the overtime period and then added two free throws to give his team the upper hand. Chris Tiu converted two more from the charity stripe before Ed Daquioag put the game out of reach from his former team by draining the dagger triple.
Maverick Ahanmisi backstopped Johnson with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists while Tiu added 13 markers.
Chris Newsome led Meralco with 21 points while Arinze Onuaku and Baser Amer came up with significant contributions of 20 and 19 points respectively for the Bolts which fell to 7-4 after absorbing the 2nd defeat in a row.
Rain or Shine 106 – Johnson 21, Ahanmisi 20, Tiu 13, Daquioag 11, Norwood 9, Almazan 9, Yap 7, Nambatac 5, Belga 5, Ponferada 4, Casino 2, Washington 0, Torres 0.
Meralco 99 – Newsome 21, Onuaku 20, Amer 19, De Ocampo 10, Canaleta 9, Hodge 7, Caram 4, Tolomia 3, Lanete 3, Dillinger 3, Hugnatan 0.
Quarterscores: 28-27, 64-51, 84-81, 96-96, 106-99.