Balanced scoring propels Rain or Shine past Blackwater

September 23, 2017

RAIN or Shine prepped up for the PBA Governors Cup quarterfinals playoffs with a 122-98 rout of Blackwater to end its elimination round campaign on a winning note Saturday.

The Elasto Painters peeled away from a tight first half behind a huge third period run anchored on import J'Nathan Bullock, who scored 12 of his game-high 30 points during that stretch.

Rain or Shine outscored Blackwater in the quarter, 32-21, to take an 89-77 lead entering the payoff period of the Petron Saturday Special at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Bullock added eight rebounds and two assists in the team's seventh win in 11 outings that gave the Elasto Painters a possible shot of earning a Top 4 finish and a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs beginning this Tuesday. They are currently in sixth place in the standings.

"The only way we can have a chance for the Top Four is to win this game," admitted Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia after the game.

The Elasto Painters missed the services of injured star James Yap, but a balance scoring by five players more than make up for the absence of the two-time league MVP.

Raymond Almazan continued to be a dominant force in the middle for Rain or Shine as he finished with 20 points and six rebounds, Gabe Norwood added 15, Maverick Ahanmisi with 12, while the duo of Don Trollano and rookie Ed Daquioag had 11 each.

Blackwater ended up with a 5-6 record and will enter the playoffs as the eighth-seeded team opposite the no. 1 squad.

Allein Maliksi had a team-high 29 points while import Henry Walker added 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Elite, who fell by as many as 28 points, 119-91, late in the game.