RAIN or Shine gave Mahindra false hopes of pulling off an upset as it proved steadier in overtime with a 99-95 victory on Sunday night to gain the early lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Jeff Chan hit a huge triple from the right corner, before Shawn Taggart brought the Elasto Painters home with back-to-back baskets in the paint to frustrate a Floodbuster side that stayed toe to toe with the defending champions and threatened to steal the game behind Gary David.
As a result, the E-Painters registered their second straight win following their 113-105 win over NLEX on opening day three days ago, while dealing the Floodbuster their second successive loss.
“Both teams wanted to win. Mahindra came out to play,” ROS coach Caloy Garcia said. “After a good game vs NLEX, We came out too relaxed.”
“But the chemistry we have, matagal na kami magkakasama,” Garcia added on the same day he celebrated his 42nd birthday.
Chan, Raymond Almazan, Maverick Ahanmisi, and Gabe Norwood comprised the locals who finished the game for the E-Painters, while Taggart anchored the middle as the ROS import tallied 29 points, 10 boards, four assists, and two blocks in 39 minutes.
James White paced the Floodbuster again with a game-high-tying 29 points on top of 21 boards, two assists, two blocks, and one steal in 44 minutes, and could’ve won the game in regulation had his last-second jumper gone in. The young American reinforcement also missed two crucial charities in the extra session that hastened their downfall.
It was David, though, who sparked the Floodbuster’s stand in regulation as the veteran gunner fired all his 13 markers in the payoff period, the last three on three-pointer that capped a 13 unanswered points and turned the game around, giving his team an 86-80 lead with over two minutes left.
Unheralded sophomore Bong Galanza also provided significant contribution with 10 points off the Floodbuster’s bench.
The E-Painters, though, erased the deficit and finished the job in overtime behind their cohesive and experienced locals, and Taggart.
ROS 99 – Taggart 29, Belga 12, Yap 12, Chan 10, Almazan 9, Ahanmisi 8, Washington 6, Ponferada 5, Tiu 5, Cruz 2, Norwood 1, Tolomia 0, Trollano 0
MAHINDRA 95 – White 29, David 13, Galanza 10, Celda 10, Deutchman 9, Paniamogan 8, Mallari 6, Caperal 4, Revilla 3, Guevarra 2, Salva 1, Teng 0, Yee 0, Arana 0, Salva 0, Ballesteros 0
Quarterscores: 22-24, 45-43, 68-66, 88-88, 99-95