The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters have now strung up a string of wins and in the process send the Phoenix Fuel Masters to their third straight loss. Rain or Shine took down Phoenix, 89-82 to win their second straight game after starting the conference 0-2. Phoenix is down to 1-3 after their latest loss.
Denzel Bowles carried the load with 28 points and 14 rebounds. He got help from James Yap and Javee Mocon who contributed 15 points each from off the bench. Richard Howell had a better game in the loss. He scored 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in his second game with the Fuel Masters.
The Fuel Masters looked primed in the first half to bounce back from two straight losses. Dave Marcelo, Jason Perkins and LA Revilla provided pushed Phoenix ahead with big buckets in the second quarter. Phoenix jumped out to a seven-point halftime lead.
That advantage quickly evaporated when the third period opened. Yap and Mocon caught fire from beyond the arc while Bowles powered his way inside. The three combined for a 10-3 run to tie up the score with nine minutes left in the third period. The two teams traded baskets and leads as the game stayed tied at 61 heading to the final period.
The Fuel Masters took a six-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, looking to seal the win at that point. But Bowles refused to let Phoenix pull away. He went on a 7-0 personal run to lead the Elasto Painters back to the driver’s seat.
Bowles then found a partner in Nambatac as the two teamed up for a 6-0 run to put Rain or Shine safely ahead. Phoenix never threatened again in the final moments of the game.
In the first game, the Alaska Aces extended their league-leading winning streak to three games with a 93-89 win over the Meralco Bolts. Meralco, who was also looking to win their third straight game, ended up falling to 3-3. Alaska rises up to 4-2.
Chris Banchero broke out against Meralco. He led the Aces with 23 points and nine rebounds. Chris Daniels added 12 points and seven rebounds. Gani Lawal put up monster numbers once again. He scored 27 points and grabbed 26 rebounds in the loss.
Alaska slowly took control of the game in the second half. From a slim two-point margin, the Aces were able to build a 12-point lead midway through the third period with solid contributions from everyone on the team. Sonny Thoss kicked things off with a midrange jumper. Banchero, Jeron Teng and Vic Manuel all added key buckets to push the lead up to 12. Alaska settled for a five-point lead heading to the final period.
Alaska opened the fourth quarter with five straight points from Jvee Casio and Abel Galliguez to bring the lead back up to 10 points. Merlaco threatened in the last two minutes cutting the advantage to just one. But Banchero scored on a clutch drive and Simon Enciso buried the dagger with a fast break layup off a Banchero steal.