Rain or Shine outlasts Columbian

Khapri Alston of Columbian and Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine in a furious battle for possession. (Roman Prospero)

Rain or Shine recovered from an opening-day meltdown as it outlasted Columbian, 96-90, in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Import Joel Wright delivered down the stretch, scoring eight of the Elasto Painters’ last 10 points to rally from an 89-87 deficit in the crucial stretch en route to victory.

Wright, who is in his second tour of duty, delivered 30 points and 10 rebounds while Rey Nambatac had 17 points, three assists and three steals for the Elasto Painters who surrendered to Northport in their first game of the conference.

“We were disappointed with how we played in our last game,” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia, who also drew an impressive performance from new recruit Ping Exciminiano.

“I told the player that the only way we can rebound is to win this game and at least don’t go down too much in the team standings. We know every game is important, every team is really hard to compete with so we just have to come out and play the way we played here.”

“We just have to learn from our mistakes.”

With Columbian ahead, 89-87, Wright scored on a layup to knot the game. Then, he finished with a three-point play for a 91-89 lead in the final 45 seconds.

Although he muffed his bonus free throw, Wright stormed back with another field goal to give the Elasto Painters a 93-89 lead with only 14 ticks left.

“I think Joel has to learn how to preserve his fouls and control his emotions,” said Garcia in reference to Wright, who had been hampered with foul trouble.

“I think he is a really good import, but we need him to play longer minutes. I think we’re going to show him a video so he can see his mistakes. He has to learn how to last longer in a game.”

Import Khapri Alston delivered 23 points and 15 rebounds while CJ Perez added 22 markers for the Dyip, who fell to 1-1.