James Yap flashes vintage form in Rain or Shine win, TNT leans on bench to beat Blackwater

Rain or Shine Elasto Painters 120 – Phoenix Fuel Masters 99

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The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters exploded in the first and third quarters to run away with a win over the Phoenix Fuel Masters.

The Elasto Painters were feeling it early on. After Doug Kramer scored on an and-one basket to put the Fuel Masters up in the opening minutes of the game, Rain or Shine proceeded to go on a 24-2 run led by Chris Tiu and Ed Daquiaog. The veteran and the young gun combined for 12 points in the scoring binge. Dexter Maiquez took over late in the first period to push Rain or Shine to a 39-13 lead after 12 minutes.

Phoenix was able to cut the lead down to 17 points at the end of the second period as Matthew Wright tried his best to tow his team back into contention. But in the third quarter, the Elasto Painters exploded for 41 points as James Yap, Daquioag and Tiu found their range. Yap scored eight points in the third quarter and Rain or Shine pushed their lead up to 35 points. They cruised to the win in the final period as Yap continued to rain shots from the outside in the fourth period.

Yap scored 20 points off the bench on 80% shooting, including 4/5 from three-point land. Daquioag led the team in scoring with 21 points while Tiu scored 17. The two combined for six of the team’s 15 three-pointers in the win.

TNT KaTropa 92 – Blackwater Elite 83

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Jayson Castro and RR Pogoy came off the bench to lead the TNT KaTropa to a win over the Blackwater Elite. Castro scored 17 points while Pogoy led the team in scoring with 24.

The Elite were looking to take down another championship contender for their third straight win. They previously won over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and Barangay Ginebra. Blackwater was able to increase their seven-point halftime lead to 10 midway through the third quarter. But Pogoy and Castro immediately went to work when they fell behind by double digits. The two combined for six points as TNT made a run to cut the deficit down to two points. The highlight of that stretch was Pogoy’s one hand fast break jam to spark the run.

Troy Rosario joined the scoring party to end the third quarter. He and Pogoy combined to score seven of the team’s last 12 points, helping the KaTropa overtake Blackwater heading into the final period. To start the final period, TNT rained down a barrage of three-pointers to increase their lead to 17. That barrage took the fight out of Blackwater. The KaTropa held on to a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

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