Mar 01, 2024

Bolts, Elasto Painters slug it out for turnaround victory

GAME results in the PBA Philippine Cup opening night on Wednesday were tales of free throws for both Meralco and Rain or Shine.

The Bolts were torched from the line by new Blackwater recruit Rey Nambatac (12-of-12) while the Elasto Painters dropped their conference debut versus the TNT Tropang Giga on their woeful 24-of-42 clip.

Meralco went down to a 96-93 defeat while Rain or Shine suffered a 108-107 heartbreaker.

Both teams seek a quick turnaround as they slug it out in the 6:30 p.m. mainer in the first weekend bill in the tourney at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Bolts got off to a strong start and seized early control, 25-15, but lost momentum, got buried in a 19-point deficit and ran out of time in a torrid chase late in the game.

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Spoiled was Allein Maliksi's 27-point explosion marked by five three-pointers.

For the E-Painters, going down the drain was a gritty stand that saw them on the driver's seat for most part of the game.

Botched free throws ruined the E-Painters' night, allowing the Tropang Giga to welcome the return of coach Chot Reyes with an escape win.

"We missed 18 free throws and lost by one point. Gusto natin simplehan lang yung analysis nito - out of the 18, if we could have only made two, we could have won the game. So yun ang simple analysis," said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

The silver lining for Guiao was the near upset of the reigning Governors Cup champions Tropang Giga.

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"The important thing for us is we know we can stay with the big guns. Sayang, malaking isda sana. Nakawala yung malaking isda," said Guiao.
Now, the Bolts and the E-Painters take a shot at a turnaround win against each other. (SB)