ANTIPOLO – Rain or Shine turned to Jay Washington down the stretch as it held off Blackwater, 95-88, on Sunday at the Ynares Center to remain unbeaten in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
A non-factor early on, Washington came through when it mattered most, knocking down back-to-back triples – his only points of the game – that highlighted an 11-1 run to end the game that frustrated the Elite.
The Elasto Painters rolled to their third straight victory to tie Meralco on top of the standings, while kept the Elite at the bottom after suffering a third successive defeat.
“I guess the story was the big shot of Jay-Wash. They executed, but still, we can’t be happy with the way we’re playing,” ROS coach Caloy Garcia said. “We can still do better, especially on the execution. There were times we should’ve called timeout and we just lost the ball.
“But (those are) lessons we have to continue learning,” he added. “We just have to play as a team.”
Garcia sentiments were understandable as the defending champion E-Painters allowed the Elite to stay toe to toe with them for the most part of the game.
Blackwater was still on top, 87-84, after a Mac Belo triple with three minutes and 40 seconds left, before the E-Painters finally turned it up a notch.
Maverick Ahanmisi retaliated with a triple to knot the count, before Washington joined the three-point shooting party – the first from the left corner and the second form the right win off an Ahanmisi feed.
Jericho Cruz punctuated the late surge with a steal and a breakaway layup as he and Ahanmisi finished with 12 points apiece to provide the most support to Shawn Taggart, who registered 26 points and 12 boards in 41 minutes.
James Yap was the other ROS player in double-figure scoring with 11 markers, spiked by two treys.
Greg Smith shouldered most of the load for the Elite with 34 points, on top of 20 boards, and three assists in a losing effort.
ROS 95 – Taggart 26, Ahanmisi 12, Cruz 12, Yap 11, Belga 9, Chan 8, Tiu 8, Washington 6, Norwood 2, Ponferrada 1, Almazan 0
BLACKWATER 88 – Smith 34, Cervantes 12, Pascual 10, Belo 7, Buenafe 7, Pinto 7, Sena 6, Sumang 3, Aguilar 2, DiGregorio 0, Forrester 0, Gamalinda 0, Miranda 0
Quarterscores: 26-29, 44-47, 68-70, 95-88