RAIN or Shine continued to pick up steam heading into the postseason as it bulldozed past Blackwater, 122-98, to stay alive for a Top Four berth in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters missed the services of injured James Yap, but a balanced effort from the rest made up for it as they pulled away in a tight battle late in the third quarter on the way to the blowout victory in the Petron Saturday Special.
J’Nathan Bullock took the wheel and finished with 30 points and eight board, while Raymond Almazan added 20 points, six boards, and one block in less than 19 minutes for the E-Painters, who finished the eliminations with seven wins in 11 games.
The playoffs-bound Elite ended up at 5-6 and in eighth spot, facing the top seed that’s yet to be determined.
“Everybody who played stepped up,” ROS coach Caloy Garcia said. “The only way we can have a chance for the Top Four is to win this game.”
Bullock scored 12 of his output in the third quarter where the E-Painters outscored the Elite, 32-21, to extend a one-point halftime lead to 12 points entering the final frame.
The ROS import continued to do damage from there as he conspired with Almazan, who scored seven of point production in the payoff period where they maintained a huge lead that ballooned to 28 points, 119-91, inside the last two minutes.
Four more players scored in twin digits for the E-Painters, who shot 49 percent from the field overall and dished out 27 assists.
The result spoiled another spectacular showing from Allein Maliksi, who came one point shy of the 30-point mark, adding eight boards and one assist to lead the Elite in a losing effort.
ROS 122 – Bullock 30, Almazan 20, Norwood 15, Ahanmisi 12, Trollano 11, Daquioag 11, Belga 5, King 5, Matias 4, Ponferada 3, Maiquez 2, Robles 2, Borboran 2
BLACKWATER 98 – Maliksi 29, Walker 21, Canaleta 15, Erram 14, Digregorio 9, Sumang 6, Belo 2, Sena 2, Miranda 0, Pinto 0, Cruz 0, Marcelo
Quarterscores: 30-21, 57-56, 89-77, 122-98