ROS bench players stepped up with big production
J’Nathan Bullock scored 30 points in this important win for the Elasto Painters (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
Although both teams are already assured of their respective quarterfinals slots, the Blackwater Elite and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters knew that they need a win to at least have a fighting chance to improve their standings and lessen the possibility of fighting a stronger team especially if you’re a Blackwater team who will possibly face the league-leading Ginebra should the latter win their must-win game against Talk N Text.
A win by Rain or Shine on the other hand, will make things complicated for the NLEX Road Warriors because this would mean that the Road Warriors will need to win against the Star Hotshots tomorrow.
There is a lot of complications that can shake the standings especially in the Top 4. Regardless of who wins in this game, it will have a rippling effect as to who will face who come the quarterfinals.
At the end of the game, Rain or Shine’s experience prevailed against the Elite after successfully finishing the elimination round with a 122-98 victory.
Throughout the first half, both the Elasto Painters and the Elites, led by newcomer Allen Maliksi, traded runs and blows with the former taking the lead right after the first quarter, at 30-21 and then the Elite started to shot better in the field as their import, Henry Walker and Maliksi led the way as the Elite kept themselves close even taking the lead on multiple occasions and settled for a single-digit deficit at the half.
Despite multiple occasions where the Elite were threatening to take back the lead, Coach Caloy Garcia’s players stepped up in the 3rd quarter as the Elasto Painters, led by Maverick Ahanmisi, who made a couple of three-pointers both during the first half and in the 3rd quarter, and import J’Nathan Bullock.
By the time 4th quarter came around, the Elasto Painters’ offense was already despite a few more turnovers as Rain or Shine held a double-digit lead and they did it by running at every opportunity and making both inside and outside shots with complete accuracy.
The lead went up as high as 103-83 after a trey from big man Raymond Almazan with under 8 minutes to go. Almazan would later be called for a flagrant foul after hitting Walker in the face while trying to block the latter’s shot. From that point on, both teams traded made shots after made shots and, missed shots after missed and Walker was taken out of the game with under 6 minutes to play with the lead up 19.
The Elasto Painters were led by Bullock who had 30 points and 8 rebounds. What made it easier for Bullock is the fact that he didn’t have to carry most of the scoring load as Raymond Almazan scored 20 points off the bench. Gabe Norwood played another stellar game with his 15 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Maverick Ahanmisi finished 12 points while Don Trollano provided additional spark off the bench with his 11 points.
Overall, Rain or Shine made 49% of their shots including 44% from the outside.
On the other hand, the Elite of Coach Leo Isaac, were led by Allen Maliksi with 29 points while Walker had 21 points and 13 rebounds. KG Canaleta added 15 points off the bench while big man JP Eram contributed 14 points as a starter.
What exactly doomed the Elite? Bench scoring was the difference. The Elasto Painters’ bench players combined for 62 bench points and only 19 for Blackwater and they will need everyone contributing come the quarterfinals regardless of who they will face.
Rain or Shine – 122
Bullock 30, Almazan 20, Norwood 15, Ahanmisi 12, Trollano 11, Daquiaog 11, Belga 5, King 5, Matias 4, Maiquez 2, Robles 2, Borboran 2, Cruz 0, Tiu 0, Yap 0
Blackwater – 98
Maliksi 29, Walker 21, Canaleta 15, Eram 14, Digregorio 9, Sumang 6, Belo 2, Sena 2, Miranda 0, Banal 0, Pinto 0, Cervantes 0, Cruz 0, Elis 0, Javier 0, Marcelo 0
30-21, 57-56, 89-77, 122-98