MANILA, Philippines – Beau Belga came through in clutch time to lead Rain or Shine to a 123-121 overtime victory on Thursday over a stubborn Alaska squad and force a Game 5 in their PBA Governors' Cup semifinals series.
Belga scored 4 of Rain or Shine’s last 6 points to put the game away for the Elasto Painters, who are now tied with the Aces in their best-of-5 series, 2-2.
The wide-bodied center scored a total of 21 points to go with his 10 rebounds against a gritty Alaska squad that played all-Filipino in the last 9 minutes of the game.
Coming in 1-2 in their semifinals series, Rain or Shine jumped the gun on Alaska for a 32-23 edge in the first quarter.
The Aces, behind Dondon Hontiveros and Cyrus Baguio, fought back to pull Alaska within 59-60 before the end of the first half.
The Elasto Painters opened the third canto with a trey from Belga and a jumper from Arizona Reid for a 65-59 lead.
They stepped up the attack to widen the advantage to 74-64 midway the quarter.
Hontiveros and Jayvee Casio replied with several baskets to push Alaska ahead, 96-91, going into the fourth.
The Aces then found themselves in serious trouble after import Henry Walker was called for a flagrant foul No. 2 following an elbow on the back of Paul Lee’s head.
This led to Walker’s ejection from the game, leaving Alaska without an import.
Rain or Shine took advantage of Walker’s absence and put up a 108-97 lead midway the payoff period.
The Aces refused to back down and unleashed an 11-2 run that cut the deficit to 108-110.
After a pair of plays from Reid and Lee, Casio triggered a jumper that tied the scores, 115-all, to force an overtime.
The Aces fired 5 unanswered points in the extra period, but found themselves lacking in defense when the Elasto Painters responded with a 6-0 run.
Reid topscored for Rain or Shine with 32, while Lee added 21 points.
Hontiveros and Baguio paced Alaska with 21 points each. The Aces will have to settle the score with the Elasto Painters in Game 5 on Sunday.
Rain or Shine 123 - Reid 32, Belga 21, Lee 21, Almazan 14, Chan 11, Arana 8, Norwood 7, Ibanes 3, Cruz 2, Tiu 2, Rodriguez 2.
Alaska 121 - Hontiveros 21, Baguio 21, Abueva 19, Casio 17, Walker 16, Thoss 11, Jazul 6, Manuel 6, Espinas 4, Dela Cruz 0.
Quarterscores: 38-24, 60-59, 96-91, 115-115, 123-121