SLR 79, RoS 80

On: 04 December 2008

PBA's 34th Season

Rain or Shine is now a heartbeat away of a first-ever stint in the post-elims play.

Solomon Mercado and Rob Wainwright sank a charity each then Rain or Shine put up a good defense in the closing seconds as the Elasto Painters scored an 80-79 nail-biter over the Sta. Lucia Realtors Wednesday assuring the Asian Coating franchise of at least a playoff for a wildcard round slot in the KFC PBA Philippine Cup.

"It's all about hard work. It's paying off for us," said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia as they got back at the Realtors to gain a share of second place with the San Miguel Beermen on their identical 8-6 win-loss card.

"We'd never been in this position before. Now that we're here, (finishing in the top two) is one target we're looking at now," Garcia also said.

win over Purefoods Saturday guarantees Rain or Shine of at least a .500 closing mark and a slot in the wildcard round -- feats the Elasto Painters have never achieved in team history.

The Realtors failed to convert a basket in the last 26 seconds, sliding three rungs down to joint sixth place with the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants at 7-7.

Going for naught was Kelly Williams' 31-point explosion -- his best in the season after a career-low of two points in their last game against Alaska Milk.

The Realtors had a chance to salvage the game but Paolo Mendoza missed two three-point attempts in the waning seconds.

Sta. Lucia pushed Rain or Shine to the limit as the Realtors rallied from a 30-43 halftime deficit largely behind the exploits of Williams and Norman Gonzales.

After a long chase, the Realtors gained the upperhand at 64-63 on a 9-0 roll capped by a layup by Williams with a little over two minutes into the final canto.

The two teams engaged in a fierce battle from there on until the Realtors had their last taste of the lead at 79-78 on a triple by Williams with time down to 50 seconds.

Mercado and Wainwright split their pairs of charities inside the next 24 seconds as Rain or Shine surged ahead at 80-79.

After a timeout, Sta. Lucia went to Mendoza who missed a shot from right quartercourt.

The Realtors kept possession but the Elasto Painters stood their ground defensively to the finish, thus, avenging an 85-88 loss to Sta. Lucia in their previous tiff.

"I think we're lucky in the end that's why we pulled through. But it was a good lesson for us specially for me as a coach," said Garcia.

0 comments on "SLR 79, RoS 80"

Post a Comment