Chris Tiu and Rain or Shine end season on a high note, Meralco keeps their playoff bid alive

Rain or Shine Elasto Painters 107 – NLEX Road Warriors 101

The season-ender of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters against the NLEX Road Warriors was possibly the last game of Chris Tiu. If it was, the veteran guard went out with a bang. Tiu exploded for 30 points, a new career-high, to lead his team to the win.

The Road Warriors, still fighting for a playoff spot, relied on their front line to jump out to an early lead. Aaron Fuller and Asi Taulava powered NLEX to a 14-point lead after the first period. Rain or Shine slowly chopped down that lead. Tiu led the way but he got help from his bigs, Jewel Ponferada and Norbert Torres.

Tiu was still on fire in the second half. He scored seven points in an 8-0 run to lead Rain or Shine back to the driver’s seat. The rest of the team jumped in late in the third quarter to push the lead up to double digits. Midway through the fourth period, Tiu went on another scoring binge. He scored six straight points in a 10-0 run to push the lead up to 19 points. The Elasto Painters held off the Road Warriors all the way to the end.

Meralco Bolts 111 – San Miguel Beermen 81

The Meralco Bolts stay alive in the race for the quarterfinals. They used a strong second half to stun the San Miguel Beermen and hold on to the eighth spot in the standings. If TNT loses their next game, Meralco will complete the cast for the Governor’s Cup Quarterfinals.

Midway through the game, it looked like San Miguel would sink Meralco. The Beermen went on a 15-0 run to start the second quarter. The Bolts offense looked dead and the Beermen took advantage to build a double-digit lead. Meralco chipped away at that lead all throughout the second quarter. They were only down by five points heading into the second half.

In the third period, it was Meralco’s turn to make a push. Allen Durham did the heavy lifting in a 24-7 run to help the Bolts take a 15-point lead. He was joined by Baser Amer, Cliff Hodge and Chris Newsome in that game-changing spurt. In the fourth quarter, Reynel Hugnatan came alive to secure the win. The forward scored 13 points in the final period to help the Bolts stay ahead of San Miguel.

Durham had a monster game of 35 points, 26 boards and seven dimes. Hugnatan added 19 points with three treys. Newsome and Amer combined for 26 points and 22 assists.

Photo from PBA.ph