Rain or Shine's Chris Tiu goes for a lay-up against Air 21. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNNews.com
MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE) The Rain or Shine locals stepped up to make up for Wayne Chism’s woeful game as the Elasto Painters beat the Air21 Express, 87-82, to improve their bid for a spot in the best-of-three quarterfinals of the PLDT Home TVolution PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.
The RoS local crew put up a tough stand, overcoming Chism’s six-point output as the E-Painters topped the Express in their important match and thus moved up to Top Five with an even 4-4 win-loss record.
Chism went 2-of-12 from the field and turned the ball over thrice, including a crucial possession in the closing seconds.
The E-Painters nearly squandered a 13-point lead in the last five minutes of play but squeezed through with Paul Lee taking over in the crunch.
Jervy Cruz, Alex Nuyles, Ryan Arana and Raymond Almazan also rose to the occasion for the E-Painters who brought the Express down to joint seventh place with the Barangay Ginebra Kings at 3-5.
“The locals kept us in the game for the most part offensively when our import wasn’t making his shots,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.
“And its’ really a testimony to the fact that you can still win games even if you struggle offensively if you play good defense,” Guiao also said.
The Rain or Shine mentor didn’t go hard on Chism despite his awful performance.
“Our import really struggled offensively, but his defensive presence was enough to give us a lift,” said Guiao.
“(What he provides us) is enough to get where we are. In practice, he’s a lot better, giving us hope to win enough game,” Guiao also said. “Our requirement for him is to get the rebound, give us his defensive presence in the middle, and score here and there. We don’t want our import scoring in the 30s or 40s. We’re happy if he makes 20.”
Cruz went 4-of-4 from the field and 1-of-1 from the stripe, leading the efficient job put up by the RoS second group in the second quarter allowing the E-Painters to enjoy a 10-point spread, 43-33, at the half.
Beau Belga, Nuyles, Arana and Almazan completed the unit that took over for Rain or Shine after Chism picked up his third foul just at the outset of the second quarter.
Chism got into early foul trouble and went scoreless in the first half. He went 0-of-4 from the field and committed two turnovers.
Still, the E-Painters took control in the first half behind their good ball rotation and a 46.2 percent clip as against Air21’s lethargic 29.3-percent shooting.
Air21 came to within two twice at endgame, but clutch baskets by Lee bailed RoS out of trouble.