CHRIS Tiu and Gabe Norwood hit the key baskets just as Globalport started breathing down the neck of Rain or Shine, helping the Painters escape with their fifth straight victory, 103-95, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Painters lost what once shoot as an imposing 18-point lead after Globalport shifted to a zone defense, but Norwood and Tiu bailed them out time and again to the relief of coach Yeng Guiao.
“We really got a scare in the second half. We kind of relaxed when we got the big lead," said Guiao. "We had some difficulties with their zone because they zoned us from the third all the way to the fourth quarter.”
Tiu and Norwood combined for 21 points in the final period. Norwood also completed the game's biggest play came with 11 ticks to play, taking a pass from Bruno Sundov and making a three-point play off good friend Solomon Mercado that all but settled the outcome.
“We’re just lucky to be able to hit some three-point shots to save this game for us. And we’re also lucky that their import (Justin Williams) didn’t really make that much of a contribution,” Guiao said.
Williams played his farewell game for the Batang Pier, though it had to be a bitter parting of ways after he played just five minutes in the final half.
The 6’9” Williams, who finished with just six points, 10 rebounds and four blocks, is expected to be replaced by Walter Sharpe, the 32nd pick overall by the Seattle Supersonics in the 2008 NBA draft who has played for four teams in the NBA D-League.
It was a sorry loss for the Batang Pier, who made a near successful comeback mainly through the efforts of Sol Mercado, Gary David and Willie Miller.
But the Batang Pier failed to execute well in the endgame as they dropped their fourth straight match to fall to 2-5 this conference.
Rain or Shine 103 - Sundov 17, Tiu 16, Cruz 15, Norwood 13, Ibanes 9, Quinahan 7, Matias 6, Tang 6, Rodriguez 6, Lee 5, Belga 3, Arana 0
Globalport 95 - David 23, Mercado 18, Miller 13, Salvador 11, Aguilar 10, Antonio 10, Williams 6, Lingganay 2, Yee 2, Belencion 0, Crisano 0
Quarterscores: 23-17, 52-35, 73-69, 103-95