RAIN or Shine added to the frustrations of NLEX with a 97-86 victory to get back on the winning track in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Stung by a 98-94 loss to minnow Kia last Saturday, the Elasto Painters were on their toes all-game long against a contender in the Road Warriors, establishing a huge lead and keeping the team of former coach Yeng Guiao at bay.
Maverick Ahanmisi and Gabe Norwood led the balanced effort of the E-Painters who moved back to .500 at 3-3 after handing the Road Warriors their fourth straight loss after starting the season with two wins.
“I wish we could’ve played like this last game, but ganun talaga ang basketball,” ROS coach Caloy Garcia said. “I hope we can be consistent in playing this way.”
Ahanmisi caught fire early, knocking down five three-pointers and scoring all his 20 points in the first three quarters, complementing his offensive effort with eight boards, three assists, and one steal in 32 minutes as a starter.
The America-raised Filipino-Nigerian playmaker scored nine of his output in the third quarter, where the E-Painters built their biggest lead at 21, 59-38, early in the period.
Gabe Norwood added 13 points and missed a double-double by just one rebound, finishing with three steals, and two assists, without committing a single turnover in almost 32 minutes on the court.
James Yap and Chris Tiu were the other players who scored in double figures for the E-Painters, who shot just 39.6 percent (36-of-91) from the field, but delivered on defense as well by forcing the Road Warriors to commit 22 errors.
Former ROS stalwart JR Quiñahan led the Road Warriors with 22 points, six boards, and one steal in 38 minutes, but missed a crucial turnaround stab that could’ve pulled his team to within single digits with still a little over three minutes left in the game.
ROS 97 – Ahanmisi 20, Norwood 13, Yap 12, Tiu 11, Borboran 9, Daquioag 7, Maiquez 6, Nambatac 6, Belga 6, Cruz 3, Ponferada 2, Trollano 2
NLEX 86 – Quinahan 22, Mallari 17, Ravena 14, Baguio 9, Tiongson 6, Alas 6, Gotladera 4, Fonacier 3, Uyloan 3, Soyud 2, Monfort 0, Rios 0, Taulava 0
Quarterscores: 25-20; 53-38; 73-62; 97-86