ANTIPOLO – Rain or Shine pounced on an all-Filipino San Miguel Beer side, adding to the early woes of the powerhouse Beermen with a 123-119 overtime victory to take the solo lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday night at the Ynares Center.
Taking advantage of an SMB side that lost import Troy Gillenwater to an ejection in the first half and June Mar Fajardo to fouls, the Elasto Painters stood toe-to-toe with the defending champions throughout before turning it on in the extra session to keep the Beermen winless in two games.
Raymond Almazan hit the crucial charities and basket in the extra session as the E-Painters got back on the winning track after a shock loss to Columbian Dyip, improving to 4-1 (win-loss).
“It’s a hard-earned win for us,” ROS coach Caloy Garcia said. “In order to beat San Miguel, we have to play a perfect game. Lucky, the import got thrown out and June Mar fouled out.”
“But still, the effort of the players, they showed their character today,” he added.
Almazan typified the character, scoring all but three of the E-Painters’ 11 points in overtime – two on a reverse layup off a quick spin and six from the charity stripe, the last two that gave them a 123-117 lead, finally enough cushion to take a breath after the all-Filipino threatened kept threatening.
The 6-foot-8 beanpole finished with a career-high-tying 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting, 14 boards, one assist, and one block in just 23 minutes off the bench.
Reggie Johnson anchored the middle and kept the E-Painters afloat in regulation, tallying 27 points, 19 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks in 43 minutes, while Chris Tiu, Maverick Ahanmisi, and Gabe Norwood also came through with huge baskets for ROS.
Arwind Santos and Fajardo carried the Beermen with 29 and 26 points, respectively, but both stars fouled out in the crucial juncture.
Alex Cabagnot scored eight of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, including two on a high-arching layup that tied the game at 112 with 11 seconds left and forced an extra session after giving up a 17-point lead they built early in in the third period.
Christian Standhardinger provided an early spark with 15 of his 17 points in the first half as he bounced back from a quite debut, although still seeing the same result.
ROS 123 — Johnson 27, Almazan 25, Ahanmisi 16, Tiu 16, Norwood 15, Daquioag 7, Torres 5, Washington 5, Ponferada 4, Yap 3, Belga 0, Onwubere 0
SMB 119 — Santos 29, Fajardo 26, Lassiter 18, Standhardinger 17, Cabagnot 14, Gillenwater 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Ross 2, Espinas 0
Quarterscores: 30-23, 49-63, 84-90, 112-112, 123-119