MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine weathered Air21’s comeback to fashion out a 104-94 win and secure the other twice-to-beat bonus in the playoffs of the PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday.
The Elasto Painters squandered a 20-point lead but was able to get back against the Express, courtesy of Alex Nuyles and Raymond Almazan, who placed Rain or Shine firmly at second behind Barangay Ginebra in the eliminations.
Nuyles and Almazan teamed up for 20 points while dousing Air21’s spirited rally that threatened Rain or Shine, 69-71, late in the third quarter.
Almazan poured in 12 of his 13 points in the final quarter while Nuyles had 8 straight points. Their efforts brought the Elasto Painters to a comfortable 92-74 lead.
It is the third time in the last five conferences for the Rain or Shine to gain a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals.
Their head coach, Yeng Guiao, said it signifies the team’s consistency.
“We’re not the most talented team, not the tallest, not the most expensive, but we’ve been able to stay consistent by applying our system and our philosophy,” Guiao said in the league’s official website.
Rain or Shine 104 - Almazan 13, Nuyles 13, Teng 13, Arana 10, Rodriguez 10, Belga 7, Cruz 7, Chan 7, Lee 7, Norwood 7, Tiu 5, Tang 2, Ibanes 2, Quinahan 1.
Air21 94 - Yeo 19, Canaleta 19, Manuel 17, Taulava 16, Ritualo 13, Custodio 6, Cardona 4, Borboran 0, Jaime 0, Matias 0, Espiritu 0, Sharma 0, Camson 0.
Quarterscores: 28-17, 54-41, 81-74, 104-94