Johnson, JayWash clutch as Rain or Shine outduels NLEX for third straight win
Rain or Shine guard Chris Tiu sails unmolested for a layup. Marlo Cueto

ANTIPOLO – Rain or Shine proved steadier than NLEX in the clutch as it hacked out a 98-97 decision to stay undefeated in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday night at the Ynares Center.

Reggie Johnson converted the marginal free throw after Jay Washington hit a huge three-pointer from the left corner as the Elasto Painters emerged victorious in a nip-and-tuck battle against an NLEX side led by former coach Yeng Guiao.

The Road Warriors registered a third straight win to grab the solo lead, in the process spoiling the debut of new NLEX import Arnett Moultrie as the Road Warriors suffered a second straight setback.

“It was a scary win for us, but we’ll take it,” ROS coach Caloy Garcia said. “As long as we continue playing this way – help each other out, we’ll be okay.”

The E-Painters were down, 94-95, in a game that saw 11 deadlocks and the same number of lead changes, when Washington buried that triple to give them a two-point lead with a minute and 47 seconds left.

Moultrie scored on a putback reverse layup to tie the game one last time with 58 ticks to go, before Johnson grabbed his own offensive rebound on the other end then drew a foul that led to the burly import splitting his charities that was enough to seal deal.

Johson showed the way with 27 points, 14 boards, three assists, and three blocks in 35 minutes, while manning the middle along with Raymond Almazan who added 12 points, nine rebounds, two blocks, and one steal in just 23 minutes.

Chris Tiu also chipped in 12 points, five assists, three steals, two rebounds, and forced a turnover in the Road Warriors’ last offensive possession to prevent them from taking a game-winning shot.

But Washington turned out to the be the E-Painters’ trump card, scoring all his 10 points in the payoff period and finishing with three rebounds and one steal without a turnover in less than nine minutes of play.

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Moultrie finished with 24 points and 17 boards, but committed five turnovers, while Kiefer Ravena and JR Quinahan added 23 points apiece that went for naught.

 

The scores:

ROS 98 – Johnson 27, Tiu 12, Washington 10, Almazan 12, Norwood 9, Belga 7, Yap 5, Nambatac 4, Ponferada 3, Onwubere 3, Casiño 2, Ahanmisi 2, Daquioag 2

NLEX 97 – Moultrie 24, Quiñahan 23, Ravena 23, Soyud 10, Tiongson 5, Monfort 3, Ighalo 3, Mallari 3, Taulava 0, Rios 0, Miranda 0, Gotladera 0, Buenafe 0

Quarterscores: 23-22, 45-46, 72-77, 98-97

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos