Welcoat Paints is a win away from clinching the ABC-Asian Coatings Philippines Cup with a thrilling 102-100 victory over Rain or Shine in Game 1 of the best-of-three finals at the Ayala Northpoint Clubhouse inTalisay City, Negros Occidental, on Monday evening.
Despite missing key players due to illness, Welcoat showed up with a lot of heart to upset their younger counterparts.
After conquering the top team of the tournament in the semi-finals, Welcoat looks to end their miraculous run on a high note with a win on Thursday over the second best team.
Trailing 40-50 at the start of the third quarter, Welcoat was unstoppable with Jobert Julita scoring 16 points while Popoy Jamero chipped in 10 as the Welcoat cagers outscored Rain Or Shine 36-18 to take an 8-point lead heading into the final period.
Julita teamed up with Marcos Escalante and Renren Lacson to preserve the lead until the last two minutes of the game before Rain or Shine unleashed a barrage of baskets with their pressure defense for an 8-2 run chopping the lead down to 2 points.
Rain or Shine had a chance to steal the game in the end but Arjay Jamero's last second heave from the 3-point line went just half way in and then out as the buzzer sounded.
Welcoat breathed a sigh of relief knowing they just dodged a bullet and could have ended in the losing end had the shot gone in.
Julita finished with a team-high 33 points for Welcoat, Lacson added 16 while Popoy Jamero and Boknoy Locsin chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Marcos Escalante and Nikol Medina scored 8 and 7 points as JR Mombay, David Lim, willyDasal, EduRogacion, Ramon Khey and Marbin Go combined for 14 points.
Christian Maravilla, who was at the forefront of the 4th quarter run, paced Rain or Shine with 25 markers. Arjay Jamero had 22 and Mark Velez finished in double figures with 10 points.
RJ Arnaez scored 9 while Jhapeth Cua and Brian Coo made 8 and 7 points, respectively.
Errol Ledesma, Gio Eusebio, Karl Torres, Andy Tio, and Biboy Cuñada put together 19 points.*
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