RAIN or Shine showed steely nerves when it mattered to survive a resilient NLEX, 106-102, on Wednesday night and sustain its resurgence in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters saw their 29-point lead disappear no thanks to an amazing fourth-quarter fightback by the Road Warriors, but held on behind Wendell Mckines, Chris Tiu, Paul Lee, and Jeff Chan.
“They gave us a scare,” E-Painters coach Yeng Guiao said. “We lost our composure for a while, but it’s a good thing we recovered.”
“We were a bit overconfident and we paid for it,” the multi-titled tactician added. “But it’s a lesson for us.”
The hard-earned result allowed the Painters to stretch their winning streak to three games and climb to a three-way tie for fifth spot with an even 4-4 win-loss record, while leaving their victims stuck in second to last place with a sixth loss in eight games.
For most part, though, the Painters looked headed for a comfortable victory as they maintained a lead of more than 20 points that ballooned to 84-55 after a Jeric Teng basket with a little over three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
That, however, set the stage for a stunning Road Warriors comeback that saw them click on both ends to outscore the Painters, 36-7, in a run capped by a John Wilson right-corner triple that knotted the count at 91 with 4:33 left in the game.
But Mckines came to the rescue, scoring nine of his 33 points in the payoff period, including two on a stab off a Tiu assist that made it 104-99. The undersized, but hardworking forward stood tall as he finished with 20 rebounds in 39 minutes.
Mike Madanly spearheaded the Road Warriors’ rally by pumping in 16 of his 20 points in the payoff period as the Syrian sniper led six NLEX players in double figures in scoring.
High-flying American import Kwame Alexander, though, could only muster eight points after missing eight of his 10 shots in 36 minutes.
ROS 106 – McKines 33, Lee 20, Teng 8, Almazan 8, Chan 6, Cruz Jericho 5, Tang 5, Belga 5, Uyloan 4, Arana 4, Norwood 3, Tiu 3, Cruz Jervy 2, Ibanes 0, Quinahan 0
NLEX 102 – Madanly 20, Taulava 16, Cradona 14, Canaleta 14, Villanueva E. 14, Wilson 12, Alexander 8, Raymundo 2, Ramos 2, Villanueva J. 0, Borboran 0
Quarterscores: 25-16, 50-41, 86-66, 106-102