RAIN or Shine struggled at the stripe early on but knocked down the much-needed free throws in the end to hold off GlobalPort, 98-96, on Friday night and start its PBA Governors’ Cup campaign on a positive note.
Raymond Almazan hit the free throws that gave the Elasto Painters – who had shot just 16-of-32 from the charity stripe before that – the lead for good and spared them the blushes after leading by as many as 14 points in the first half.
The E-Painters also benefited from the absence – literally and otherwise – of Batang Pier import Jabril Trawick, who fouled out halfway through the fourth quarter after contributing just three points in 16 minutes in his debut.
Terrence Romeo had a chance to at least tie the game or complete the comeback in regulation altogether, but found it hard to take a last-gasp shot in the face of the double-team defense of Gabe Norwood and Jericho Cruz.
“I told them Globalport will never give up because that’s a very-high-scoring team,” ROS coach Caloy Garcia said. “Maybe we’re lucky that their import didn’t play well today.”
“We just have to be consistent,” he added.
J.D. Weatherspoon proved to some extent that he has the athleticism of a young Vince Carter as he threw down a handful of rim-rattling slams and finished with 25 points, 15 boards, and three assists, against five turnovers in 38 minutes to lead the E-Painters.
Maverick Ahanmisi led the locals with 17 points, four boards, four assists, one steal, and one block, while Almazan wound up with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and one block.
Romeo paced the Batang Pier with 28 points, five assists, three boards, and one steal, while Stanley Pringle flirted with a triple-double with 21 points, nine boards, and seven assists, along with two steals.
Pringle also buried the two free throws that knotted the count at 96 with one minute and 16 seconds left, but the Batang Pier failed to collar a defensive rebound on the other end, leading to Almazan getting an offensive board and drawing the foul.
ROS 98 – Weatherspoon 25, Ahanmisi 17, Almazan 15, Tiu 10, Chan 9, Washington 8, Cruz 4, Norwood 4, Ponferada 3, Yap 2, Belga 1
GLOBALPORT 96 – Romeo 28, Pringle 21, Anthony 12, Guinto 12, Arana 3, Mamaril 3, Trawick 3, Mamaril 2, Ababou 2, Van Opstal 0, Grey 0, Maierhofer 0
Quarterscores: 24-17, 50-39, 71-70, 98-96