Rain or Shine barges into the semis with 91-85 win over Sean Anthony-less Northport

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Rain or Shine shook off an early first quarter rust to whip NorthPort, 91-85, and barge in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Elasto Painters were a bit slow coming out of the starting gate, but got their game going in the second quarter when Rey Nambatac came off the bench and spark a searing run that turn the game around.

Nambatac had six of his 14 points in that crucial stretch when Rain or Shine outscored NorthPort, 29-16, to erase a three-point deficit and hold on a 43-33 lead at halftime.

The Elasto Painters never wavered from there, enjoying lead of as much as 89-74 early in the final quarter to wrap up their quarterfinals series against the Batang Pier.

Ed Daquioag complemented Nambatac with a team-high 15 points, while Beau Belga added 13 for Rain or Shine, which returned to the semis after totally missing the playoffs of the season-ending Governors Cup last year.

“Before the game started, I told the players that the only think I’m worried about is the first quarter because we haven’t played for three weeks,” said Rain or Shine mentor Caloy Garcia.

The scores:

Rain or Shine 91 – Daquioag 15, Nambatac 14, Belga 13, Ponferada 8, Norwood 8, Mocon 8, Yap 7, Ahanmisi 5, Torres 5, Borboran 4, Rosales 4, Maiquez 0, Onwubere 0, Alejandro 0.

NorthPort 85 – Tautuaa 24, Lanete 20, Grey 11, Pringle 9, Taha 7, Bolick 5, Guinto 4, Flores 0, Gabayni 0, Sollano 0.

Quarterscores: 14-17, 43-33, 73-62, 91-85.

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