RAIN or Shine fought back from a six-point deficit inside the final two minutes to deal Barangay Ginebra a heartbreaking 82-79 loss and clinch a playoff spot in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome on Sunday night.
The Elasto Painters fell behind by as many as 18 points in the second period and found themselves still trailing, 71-77, following a jumper by Mark Caguioa in a rugged game marred by numerous altercations on the floor.
Ginebra's lead, in fact, could have easily gone up to eight had LA Tenorio's layup on a two-on-one fastbreak not rim out.
Rain or Shine soon pounced on that single opening, finishing the game with an 11-2 run to pull off the victory that moved the squad up to a share of second place with Purefoods and Talk 'N Text at 6-3 (win-loss).
Ginebra, on the other hand, slipped to 4-5 after another win that got away, the last a 96-90 loss to NLEX last Wednesday.
“It’s always a rugged game when we play them,” Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao said. “You have to be physically tough when we play against them."
Wayne Chism poured in a game-high 28 points and 17 rebounds, and gave the Painters the lead for good at 80-79 when the import put back his own miss with 52 seconds left.
The Kings still had a handful of chances to preserve the victory, but Mac Baracael committed two miscues in separate offensive possessions, the first a turnover, then an ill-advised three-point attempt that came nowhere near the basket after it was partially blocked from behind by Beau Belga.
Ginebra import Michael Dunigan had 24 points and eight boards that proved insufficient.
RAIN OR SHINE 82 – Chism 28, Lee 18, Belga 11, Quinahan 8, Ibanes 6, Almazan 5, Uyloan 2, Arana 2,Cruz 2, Norwood 0, Chan 0, Tiu 0
GINEBRA 79 – Dunigan 24, Slaughter 10, Aguilar 9, Ellis 9, Caguioa 8, Tenorio 7, Yeo 7, Monfort 3, Baracael 2, Pena 0
Quarterscores: 15-24, 38-48, 65-63, 82-79