Rain or Shine found no problem in blasting Blackwater 118-107 on Sunday to clinch the solo third place in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters, who tapped Pierre Henderson-Niles as their fourth import this conference, banked on local players to outwork the Elite in three-point shooting (10-4), rebounding (57-48) and assists (26-23).
Rain or Shine improved to 7-4 win-loss record.
“It was still a struggle for us,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao told reporters after the game. “We have a new import that arrived yesterday morning. The potential is there, the upside is good, we have a week to get him to game shape and have him jell with the team.”
Henderson-Niles suffered cramps and seemingly gassed out in his PBA debut but provided his new team with 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting in the field plus six rebounds in 25 minutes of action.
“He is quick for his size, he’s not that slow. We want an import that can run with us. We will have a match against the bigger imports now. Offensively, he can score we just have to get the ball in his hands in his sweet spot which is the low post,” said Guiao of Henderson-Niles.
Burly forward-center JR Quinahan racked up 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting in the field plus six boards and three steals, while guard Jeff Chan produced 12 points to lead the Elasto Painters. Quinahan also took charge in the payoff period scoring 11 in that quarter.
After a close first three quarters of play (76-80), the Elasto Painters were able to unleash a 12-2 assault in the fourth period allowing them to break away at 105-92 in the last four minutes of the game.
Big men Jewel Ponferada added 11 points, while 6’7 Raymond Almazan posted 11 points and 10 rebounds. Seldom-used Jeric Teng finished with 10 points in just 14 minutes of play also for Rain or Shine.
Guard Carlo Lastimosa scored 27 points on 12-of-28 shooting in the field along with nine assists and four rebounds, while JP Erram posted 20 points plus six rebounds and three blocks, and 23-year-old import Malcolm Rhett tallied 19 points and 14 rebounds to lead Blackwater.
The Elite finished with a 3-8 win-loss record and could no longer qualify in the playoffs.
In the second game, San Miguel Beer outlasted Phoenix Petroleum 121-109 to improve to 7-3 and remain at second place.
Tyler Wilkerson posted 40 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Beermen.
Phoenix fell to 3-8 win-loss record.