RAIN or Shine showed the killer’s instinct it lacked in its conference debut, swamping Phoenix, 106-89, to barge into the win column of the PBA Governors’ Cup on Saturday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Coming off a disappointing loss that saw them squander a late double-digit lead against TNT Katropa, the Elasto Painters held sway this time after breaking open a tight game midway through the payoff period.
Dior Lowhorn finished the game this time and tallied 26 points and 14 boards, while Gabe Norwood atoned for his lapses against the Texters as he added 14 points, including 11 in the fourth to spark the blowout.
“Phoenix gave us a scare, but with their lack of experience, that’s where our advantage lies,” ROS coach Yeng Guiao said as his team kept the young Fuel Masters winless after three starts.
“I’m glad we were able to recover after that sorry loss against Talk ‘N Text,” he added.
The E-Painters still trailed by two, 85-83, with over seven minutes left in the fourth, but tightened the defensive screws that translated to transition and long-range points as they finished the game on a backbreaking 23-4 run.
Jericho Cruz chipped in 13 points and five boards in 22 minutes off the bench, while Paul Lee added 11 points, four rebounds and three assists as their production made up for Jeff Chan going scoreless after missing all his seven shots in 18 minutes.
Norbert Torres fired a team-high 16 points as import Marcus Simmons mustered only seven points on 3-of-11 shooting in 30 minutes for the Fuel Masters, who wasted an 11-point, 70-59, lead late in the third quarter.
ROS 106 – Lowhorn 26, Quinahan 18, Norwood 14, Cruz 13, Lee 11, Ahanmisi 8, Matias 4, Tiu 3, Trollano 3, Almazan 2, Belga 2, Ponferada 2, Chan 0, Nimes 0
PHOENIX 89 – Torres 16, Caperal 12, Buenafe 10, Baguio 9, Wilson J. 8, Enciso 7, Hee 7, Simmons 7, Cruz 6, Lanete 4, Borboran 3, Miranda 0, Pennisi 0
Quarterscores: 23-19, 47-44, 65-74, 106-89