THE Rain or Shine Elasto Painters ended a three-game losing slump with an 82-71 beating of the Blackwater Elite on Sunday in the PBA Season 45 Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in Angeles, Pampanga.
Rain or Shine staged a 25-11 blitz in the third stanza and went on to control the payoff period to improve their win-loss record to 5-4, keeping their hopes alive to snare the elusive top-four spot that carries with it a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Rain or Shine’s Javee Mocon and Gabe Norwood battle for the loose ball against Blackwater’s Richard Escoto in the PBA Season 45 Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in Angeles, Pampanga on Nov. 8, 2020. PBA MEDIA BUREAU PHOTO
Javee Mocon finished with a double-double of 19 points and 13 boards for the Elasto Painters, a far cry from his lackadaisical past games.
“Na-injure si Rey (Rey [Nambatac] was injured) and we needed the spark and everybody needed to step up. This game was really a crucial game for us to make it to the quarterfinals,” said Mocon in a post-game press conference.
The Elasto Painters had a scare when Nambatac landed on Elite forward KG Canaleta resulting in a hard fall in the second quarter. The 5’11 guard Nambatac did not return to the game.
“I think it’s because of hesitation [in the previous games]. I told him to just keep it simple,” Coach Caloy Garcia said of Mocon.
Beau Belga chipped in 14 points for the Elasto Painters.
The Elite are still winless in their last six games for a 2-7 record.
Blackwater dominated the opening period but slowed down in the second half and finally lost steam in the third canto where it only scored 11 points. Mac Belo notched 15 markers while Canaleta and Roy Sumang had 11 points each.
Rain or Shine will play against the TNT Tropang Giga on Tuesday and the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters on Wednesday for their last two games in the single round-robin elimination.
The Elite, meanwhile, will immediately return to action on Monday against the Fuel Masters (6-3) at 1 p.m.
Matthew Wright and Calvin Abueva will pace the Fuel Masters who are aiming for a Top 4 slot. Wright, so far, has a scoring average of 24.8, good for second overall in the Philippine Cup.
Abueva has been spectacular since his return from an indefinite suspension, averaging a double-double of 14.5 points and 10.3 rebounds in his first four games for the Fuel Masters.
The other games on Monday will feature the Alaska Aces (6-4) versus the NLEX Road Warriors (4-5) at 4 p.m. and the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings against the Terrafirma Dyip at 6:45 p.m.
As of press time, the Gin Kings are playing against the San Miguel Beermen, while the Dyip are battling the Meralco Bolts.