Rain or Shine charged back from 15 points down in regulation play and played steadier in overtime to beat Magnolia Pambansang Manok, 99-96, for a virtual berth in the playoffs in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Reggie Johnson, Raymond Almazan, Gabe Norwood and Chris Tiu led the way as they withstood the Hotshots in this Petron Blaze Saturday Special and thus regained the solo lead at 6-1.
Norwood and Beau Belga knocked in a pair of three-pointers early on then Tiu coolly nailed down pressure-packed charities as the E-Painters pulled through in OT and stopped the Hotshots’ three-game streak.
Magnolia, losing semi-finalist in this midseason tourney last year, dropped to fifth place with three wins against two losses.
New import Curtis Kelly helped Magnolia to a good start that they failed to sustain.
Rain or Shine 99 – Johnson 23, Almazan 19, Norwood 12, Tiu 10, Ahanmisi 9, Belga 7, Yap 5, Torres 5, Daquioag 4, Ponferada 3, Nambatac 2.
Magnolia 96 – Kelly 19, Dela Rosa 19, Jalalon 13, Lee 10, Ramos 7, Melton 6, Pascual 6, Herndon 4, Reavis 4, Simon 3, Brondial 3, Barroca 2.
Quarters: 22-18, 46-50, 69-68, 88-88, 99-96.