A SHORTHANDED Rain or Shine side did just enough to hold off Phoenix, 95-91, in overtime to get its pocket tournament campaign going on Monday at the Upper Deck gym in Pasig.
Without six players who were either injured (Jericho Cruz, James Yap, Jay Washington, and Jireh Ibanes) or resting (Gabe Norwood and Raymond Almazan), the Elasto Painters turned to a balanced effort to eke out the win over the Fuel Masters at the opponents’ practice facility.
Chris Tiu knocked down the dagger trey from the right corner off a Beau Belga crosscourt pass that gave them the lead for good at 91-89 on the way to the win on the first day of the four-team tournament.
Alaska and NLEX are the other two teams participating in the three-day tournament.
“It’s only a pocket tournament, but the reason we joined this is for us to learn and know what we have to improve before the season,” ROS coach Caloy Garcia said.
Tiu finished with a team-high-tying 20 points in 27 minutes off the bench, but it was backup big man Dexter Maiquez who stood out as he registered 20 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals in 26 minutes.
“Habang wala yung mga injured, it’s their time to prove something, so wag nila sayang in yung oras na bibigay sa kanila,” Garcia said. “And this first game, it showed Dexter really came out and played. I told the players it’s the best game I’ve ever seen him play. I just hope they will continue doing what they’re doing.”
jeff Chan again tormented his former team with 16 points, four boards, and three assists to lead the Fuel Masters in a losing effort.
ROS 95 – Tiu 20, Maiquez 20, Daquioag 14, Belga 12, Ahanmisi 12, Trollano 4, Ponferada 4, Borboran 3, Nambatac 2, Matias 2, King 2
PHX 91 – Chan 16, Perkins 13, Wilson 12, Jazul 9, Eriobu 8, Dehasa 7, Kramer 6, Revilla 6, Intal 5, Chua 4, Hayes 2, Alolino 2, Cortes 1
The scores: 19-24, 33-42, 60-60, 95-91