RAIN or Shine clinched the top sede in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs after a hard-fought 106-99 overtime win over Meralco on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters survived a furious rally by the Bolts to improve to 9-1 (win-loss), sealing their place in the No. 1 seed in the quarterfinals armed with twice-to-beat advantage against the eighth seed.
Reggie Johnson finished with 21 points and 18 rebounds, including a triple to start off overtime for the Elasto Painters, who won their sixth straight game to move ahead in a four-team race for the two twice-to-beat spots.
Maverick Ahanmisi scored 20 points while Chris Tiu delivered 13 points for the Elasto Painters, who led by as many as 18 points but almost got beaten to the wire by the gritty Bolts.
Chris Newsome had 21 points and 11 assists while Arinze Onuaku had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Bolts, who fell to 7-4 after a second consecutive defeat.
Baser Amer had 19 points including the game-tying jumper with 2:25 left in the fourth quarter. The Bolts, however, shot themselves in the foot, missing seven straight free throws including four in the fourth quarter.
Rain or Shine 106 – Johnson 21, Ahanmisi 20, Tiu 13, Daquioag 11, Norwood 9, Almazan 9, Yap 7, Nambatac 5, Belga 5, Ponferada 4, Casino 2, Washington 0, Torres 0.
Meralco 99 – Newsome 21, Onuaku 20, Amer 19, De Ocampo 10, Canaleta 9, Hodge 7, Caram 4, Tolomia 3, Lanete 3, Dillinger 3, Hugnatan 0.
Quarters: 28-27; 64-51; 84-81; 96-96; 106-99.