The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters survived the Alaska Aces, 111-105, to grab a share of the second spot in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup 2016 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday.
The two title contenders are now tied in second and third places of the league rankings both having seven wins and two losses.
Beau Belga led the Elasto Painters with 17 points and eight rebounds while Raymond Almazan and Jericho Cruz notched 13 points each.
Jeff Chan, JR Quinahan and Don Trollano all posted 12 points in the team’s seventh win in the competition.
Aces forward Manuel finished with 24 points and nine rebounds while Baguio and Calvin Abueva contributed 14 and 10 points, respectively.
Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao said that their composure throughout the match ensured their win.
“It was a hard struggle all game long. We just tried to keep our composure even under pressure. We were behind for the most part of the game. It was a hard fought game,” he said.
In the first match, Blackwater Elite guard Carlo Lastimosa finished with a career-high 38 points as his squad ended a five game losing skid beating the Barako Bull Energy, 116-92, for their second win.
Lastimosa who posted 17 markers in the final quarter, capped off the match with a 62.5 percent shooting performance from beyond the arc while converting nine of his 12 two-point attempts.
Rookie Dela Cruz clinched a total of 21 points and six boards. Gamalinda added 15 markers and 10 rebounds.
Meanwhile, for Barako, veteran forward Willy Wilson contributed 23 points while the backcourt tandem of Jeric Fortuna and Urbiztondo posted a combined output of 30 points.
With the win, the Elite are now tied with the Mahindra Enforcers in the 11th and 12th spots in the rankings with two wins and seven losses while Barako absorbed their fifth loss in nine games.
“We are hoping to win more games to have a better chance of going through the next phase of the tournament,” Blackwater head coach Leo Isaac said in the post-match press conference.
Isaac said that they must shake off their frustrations brought forth by their previous losses and start focusing on the importance of their next games to secure a spot in the playoffs.
“We have to really emphasize the importance of the remaining three games to our team,” he concluded.