Rain or Shine is back in a good position to claim a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals after posting a strong 8-3 (win-loss) closing card in the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round.
Beau Belga struggled with a 1-of-6 field-goal shooting and 2-of-4 clip from the stripe but grabbed big rebounds at the finish as Elasto Painters checked a two-game slide and squeezed out an 88-85 win over the Meralco Bolts at the Cuneta Astrodome last night.
The E-Painters, however, still have to wait awhile to know their fate since the San Miguel Beermen, the TNT KaTropa and the Barangay Ginebra Kings are three teams that can still catch up.
In case of whatever deadlock, the quotient system of breaking ties will be applied.
Finding themselves in a deeper bind were the Bolts who dropped down to 10th place at 3-6.
Belga pulled down the defensive rebound to settle the outcome of the well-fought match.
The burly center/forward from Philippine Christian U snared a bigger rebound early on off the offensive board after a missed free throw by Gabe Norwood with the count pegged at 86-85 for ROS with 7.4 ticks to go.
Drawing a foul from Reynel Hugnatan, Belga knocked in the front-end of his charities before missing the next one, opening an opportunity for the Bolts to salvage the game.
But Amer missed his make-or-break attempt then Belga cleared the defensive board to complete the win for ROS.
Sponsored content: The Elasto Painters took control most of the way, but the Bolts waged a chase at endgame and even seized the upper hand at 85-83 on clutch hits by Hugnatan.
A quick drive by Maverick Ahanmisi tied the count at 85 with 45 ticks left.
Nico Salva missed from afar in the ensuing play, and then the E-Painters regained the lead on a charity by Norwoond off a foul by Pinto.
Then came the finishing touches from Belga through his big rebounds.
It's a collective effort with no ROS player scoring more than 14. James Yap and Ed Daquioag top scored with 14 and 12, respectively, with Ahanmisi, Javee Mocon, Kris Rosales, Norbert Torres, and Rey Nambatac adding at least seven each.
Salva and Hugnatan paced the losing team with 18 and 16, respectively.*pba.ph
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