Rain or Shine demolished Blackwater, 122-98, to keep its top four spot hope alive in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 42 Governors’ Cup on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
From a slim 57-56 halftime lead, the Elasto Painters leaned on the solid performance of import J’Nathan Bullock, Raymond Almazan and Don Trollano in the second half to close out the elimination round with a 7-4 win-loss record.
“I guess everybody who came up stepped up today. The only way we can have a chance for the top four is to win this game. Our defense was not around in the second quarter, but in the second half we picked up,” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia.
Bullock led Rain or Shine with 30 points, including 12 in the third period, while Almazan added 20 points while Gabe Norwood had 15 points on top of six rebounds and five assists.
Maverick Ahanmisi notched 12 points, while Ed Daquioag and Trollano finished with 11 points apiece also for Elasto Painters.
Rain or Shine erected an 86-72 lead in the third period behind Bullock’s three-pointer with still 2:36 to go, and the Elasto Painters stretched their advantage to 119-91 after Dexter Maiquez’s lay-up with still 1:40 left in the game.
Allein Maliksi scored 29 points while import Henry Walker added 21 points, 13 rebounds and five assists for the Elite, who dropped to 5-6 though the team is already assured of a spot in the quarterfinals.
Pacquiao leaves Kia
Meanwhile, Manny Pacquiao confirmed to The Manila Times on Saturday that he already left Kia as the team’s playing coach after three years in the PBA.
“Yes,” Pacquiao, 38, told The Times via online message.
The eighth-division world boxing champion said his playing contract with Kia had already expired last month and there are offers coming from other teams although he did not specify which team.
Kia ended Season 42 without a single win after bowing to Star 81-128, last Friday.
Blackwater alternate team governor Wilbert Loa admitted that they are negotiating with Pacquiao to join the team as coach and player.
“It’s still 50-50 chance to sign Manny (Pacquiao),” Loa told The Times.
RAIN OR SHINE 122 – Bullock 30, Almazan 20, Norwood 15, Ahanmisi 12, Trollano 11, Daquioag 11, Belga 5, King 5, Matias 4, Ponferada 3, Maiquez 2, Robles 2, Borboran 2.
BLACKWATER 98 – Maliksi 29, Walker 21, Canaleta 15, Erram 14, Digregorio 9, Sumang 6, Belo 2, Sena 2, Miranda 0, Pinto 0, Cruz 0, Marcelo.
Quarters: 30-21, 57-56, 89-77, 122-98.