STANDINGS: Star Hotshots 3-0, NLEX 5-1, Meralco 4-1, Ginebra 3-1, San Miguel 2-1, Talk ‘N Text 2-1, Rain or Shine 2-2, Phoenix 2-3, Globalport 1-2, Blackwater 1-3, Alaska 0-4, Kia Picanto 0-6
Games Friday (Smart Araneta Coliseum): 4:15 p.m. – Meralco vs. Phoenix;7 p.m. – NLEX vs. Blackwater
RAIN or Shine is sporting a new look with its retooled line-up while NLEX is fast-becoming a contender in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
The Elasto Painters subdued Kia Picanto, 94-86, while the Road Warriors turned back Meralco, 100-94, as they got back into the groove in the elimination round of the season-ending conference Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Elasto Painters flexed their muscle just hard enough to withstand the Picanto and bounce back from back-to-back setbacks for what was only their second win in four games.
The Painters got something positive about their recent move that resulted into the acquisition of three new players in Mark Borboran, Ed Daquioag and a change in import as well.
“They only played one week together, but I think mabilis naman sila naka-pick up,” said ROS coach Caloy Garcia after the game.
J’Nathan Bullock knocked in 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a remarkable debut for the Painters, who also got yeoman job from Chris Tiu and Beau Belga.
Bullock, who replaced JD Weatherspoon, also had two blocks and two steals as the Painters sent the Picanto reeling to their sixth straight loss.
Tiu, now taking a bigger role following the departure of Jeff Chan on trade, lived up to the task by providing the needed quarter-backings for the Painters, more so during the spirited rally by the Picanto late in the game.
Tiu finished with 13 points, eight assists, five rebounds and one steal while committing just one turnover inside 31 minutes off the bench as he easily became the most consistent among the locals.
Borboran and Daquioag –the newest members of the team — also fared quite well in their first game for the Painters.
Daquioag made the most of his limited time inside as he struck for eight points that went with two rebounds, while Borboran chipped in five points, five rebounds, one assist, one block, and zero turnover in almost 24 minutes.
Beau Belga was the other ROS player in double-digit scoring with 12 points along with three boards and one assist in less than 13 minutes of play as the veteran enforcer got ejected halfway through the third quarter following a flagrant foul on Jason Ballesteros.
The Road Warriors, on the other hand, got 25 points from Aaron Fuller and 21 points from Kevin Alas, to deal the Bolts their first loss after going 4-0.
The Road Warriors bounced back from a loss they suffered at the hands of Ginebra in Calasiao, Pangasinan, and clinched their fifth win in six games.
The Bolts’ loss left the Star Hotshots as the only unbeaten team in the 12-team field.
RoS (94) – Bullock 20, Tiu 13, Belga 12, Daquioag 8, Ponferrada 7, Trollano 6, Maiquez 6, Yap 5, Borboran 5, King 5, Cruz 4, Ahanmisi 3
Kia (86) – Cummings 30, Celda 15, Revilla 11, Corpuz 10, Deutchman 10, Nimes 3, Khobuntin 3, Yee 2, Ballesteros 2, Paniamogan 0, Galanza 0, Caperal 0, Jaime 0.
Quarter scores: 21-17, 44-36, 71-59, 94-86.
NLEX (100) – Fuller 25, Alas 21, Fonacier 16, Quinahan 10, Mallari 8, Soyud 5, Lastimosa 5, Tiongson 3, Al-Hussaini 2, Ighalo 2, Taulava 2, Rios 1, J. Villanueva 0.
Meralco (94) – Durham 26, Hugnatan 25, Amer 14, Sedurifa 9, Dillinger 8, Nabong 7, Newsome 5, Lanete 0, Caram 0, Chua 0, Tolomia 0.
Quarter scores: 16-24, 41-44, 63-64, 100-94.