Rain or Shine fought with a dogged determination to defend its top seeding, and did repel GlobalPort, 103-97, to nail a first PBA Final Four passage in six conferencesThursday night at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
Reggie Johnson churned out a Best Import performance while James Yap recalled his MVP form to lead the Elasto Painters past the Batang Pier and into a best-of-five semis showdown with the Barangay Ginebra Kings.
The whole ROS team simply refused to budge an inch after blowing its first crack at the semis.
The two-time MVP winner rattled in 3-of-3 three-pointers to help ROS to a 46-38 lead at the half. Then he added four more in the final half, including two in a key run that opened a 16-point spread for the E-Painters at 86-70 entering the last five minutes of the contest.
Johnson played as big with 29 points and 15 rebounds. Also critical was Johnson sending GlobalPort counterpart Malcolm White to early foul-trouble situation.
Rain or Shine 103 – Johnson 29, Yap 27, Almazan 16, Tiu 12, Norwood 7, Belga 7, Ponferada 3, Daquioag 2, Ahanmisi 0, Borboran 0.
GlobalPort 97 – Pringle 23, Javelona 18, White 12, Grey 10, Anthony 10, Tautuaa 7, Taha 6, Teng 3, Espinas 2, Elorde 2, Gabayni 2.
Quarterscores: 24-22, 46-38, 75-67, 103-97.