Rain or Shine Elasto Painters 108 – Phoenix Fuel Masters 106
The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters continue to stay at the top of the standings. They secured their fifth straight win over the Phoenix Fuel Masters to go up 8-1.
The Elasto Painters were down by as much as 19 points early in the game. Phoenix relied on their inside-out attack to get the jump on Rain or Shine. Eugene Phelps held his own in the paint while Jeff Chan and Matthew Wright brought the outside bombs. Rain or Shine cut into that lead midway through the game but were still down by nine points early in the final period.
The Elasto Painters turned up the intensity and tightened up their execution to cut the fourth quarter deficit down to just a single possession game. James Yap knocked down a three-pointer to tie the count. Then Reggie Johnson came alive. He gave Rain or Shine the lead with a bucket inside. He hunkered down low again to extend their lead. Johnso issued a nice pass to Raymond Almazan for a score to close a 6-0 run.
Phoenix made one last run late in the fourth. They cut the lead down to just two and had a chance to win the game. But Wright’s trey missed badly to secure the win for Rain or Shine. Johnson led the Elasto Painters with 32 points and 16 boards. Yap and Almazan scored 13 and 11 respectively.
San Miguel Beermen 99 – TNT KaTropa 94
It was a physical game between both teams. Marcio Lassiter and Terrence Romeo were ejected in the second quarter for their continued taunting. Arwind Santos and Anthony Semerad were involved in a scuffle that got both of them thrown out. In the end, the San Miguel Beermen survived the loss of their stars to beat the TNT KaTropa.
The Beermen leaned heavily on Renaldo Balkman throughout the game. The versatile import put up all-around numbers of 43 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and six blocks. His dominance allowed the Beermen to take a nine-point lead several times in the game. But TNT would not be denied. The roared back behind the hot shooting of RR Pogoy to tie the score at 86.
That was when the altercation between Santos and Semerad happened. Both teams were awarded two free throws. Kelly Williams missed both for the KaTropa while Chris Ross sank both for the Beermen to give them the lead back. That turned the tide in the game. Balkman scored six straight points to give the Beermen an eight-point lead. TNT lost their momentum when San Miguel pulled away again.
June Mar Fajardo backed up Balkman with 19 points. Chris Ross filled up the stat sheet with 12 rebounds, seven assists and six steals to go with seven points.