Rain or Shine improves their playoff positions, Columbian gets third win

The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters bucked the loss of Denzel Bowles to get an 86-84 win over the Alaska Aces. The Elasto Painters improve their record to 4-5, good for seventh in the standings. The Aces follow them with a 4-6 record.

Bowles left the game with with four minutes left in the second quarter as he banged knees with his defender on his roll to the basket. He wasn’t able to return to the game and finished with 16 points in nearly 18 minutes.

With their import gone, Rain or Shine relied on a balanced effort from the locals. Javee Mocon, Rey Nambatac and Mark Borboran all pitched in double-digit efforts while five other players scored at least six points. Chris Banchero led Alaska with 24 points.

The game was a back-and-forth affair between both teams until the fourth quarter when Rain or Shine pulled away. Clinging on to a slim two-point lead, Borboran led a pivotal run midway through the final period. He scored five straight points after two buckets from Mocon and Beau Belga to put the Elasto Painters up by nine, their biggest lead of the game.

The Aces tried to make a run in the final few minutes of the game. They cut the lead down to six but Borboran answered back with a bucket to bring it back up to eight. Jeron teng nailed a three-pointer in the final minute to get to within three. But Ed Daquioag drilled a dagger triple to put the Elasto Painters up by six with 34 seconds left. That was enough of a cushion to hold off the Aces.

The first game was also a tight battle between the Columbian Dyip and the Phoenix Fuel Masters. The Dyip pulled out with a 100-98 win over the Fuel Masters to keep their playoff hopes alive. Columbian gets their third win in 10 games while Phoenix falls to 4-5.

The two teams traded blows in the final two minutes of the contest. Alex Mallari scored on a drive with 1:41 left in the final period to tie the game at 95. In the next possession, Columbian ran a pick-and-pop play between CJ Perez and Lester Prosper, resulting in a three-pointer to put Columbian up by three. With less than 40 seconds left in the game, the Fuel Master got the game-tying bucket off a corner three by Matthew Wright.

With less than 20 seconds left in the game, Phoenix forced a turnover to get chance at the go-ahead bucker. But RJ Jazul was blocked by Glenn Khobuntin. Reden Celda recovered the loose ball and drove it all the way to the other end for the game-winner.

Prosper led Columbian with 25 points and 21 rebounds. Perez scored 18 while Celda had 17. Richard Howell led Phoenix with 35 points.