Rain or Shine withstood TNT KaTropa’s endgame rally to pull off a 106-102 victory in the quarterfinals of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Governors’ Cup on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. The Elasto Painters victory has forged a sudden-death match for a semifinals berth.
“I told the players from the beginning it is all about who wants it more in the defensive side. They (TNT) were able to comeback due to the experience of Kelly (Williams) and Jayson (Castro), so we have to prepare better,” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia.
Import J’Nathan Bullock scored 23 of his 31 points in the first half on top of 15 rebounds and three assists, while Gabe Norwood had an all-around game of 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists to lead Rain or Shine.
The Elasto Painters employed smothering defense heading toward the final stretch and needed only a basket plus a pair of split free throws from Maverick Ahanmisi and Norwood to stop the mighty comeback of the KaTropa.
Kelly Williams led TNT with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
The No. 2 TNT that finished the elimination round with an 8-3 win-loss record, still has a chance to enter to the semifinals on Friday at the Araneta Coliseum because of its twice-to-beat advantage against the No. 7 Rain or Shine.
RAIN OR SHINE 106 – Bullock 31, Norwood 15, Almazan 13, Ahanmisi 10, Tiu 10, Trollano 10, Cruz 8, Belga 5, Borboran 2, Daquioag 2, Ponferada 0.
TNT 102 – Williams 23, Castro 22, Semerad 19, Rice Jr. 19, Rosario 10, Pogoy 7, Seigle 2, Tautuaa 0, Reyes 0.
Quarters: 26-28, 52-47, 84-75, 106-102.