May 15, 2024

E-Painters escape past Tropa, advance to semis vs Beermen

RAIN or Shine is heading to its first semifinal in four years, and coach Yeng Guiao will be there in his first Last Four after a longer wait -- five seasons.

The Elasto Painters booked a semis waltz with the San Miguel Beermen in PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup on a 110-109 escape act versus the TNT Tropang Giga at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium Wednesday night.

The E-Painters emerged triumphant after squandering a 20-point bulge then standing their ground on gutsy efforts of their young guns in the crunch.

"Championship na para sa amin ito," said Guiao of their disposal of the Tropang Giga that set them up for a best-of-seven semis series with the top-seeded Beermen chasing a title repeat and Season 48 double championship.

"Tatlo ata ang pang starting five ng San Miguel, wala kaming panapat. Pero syempre susubukan namin lumaban," Guiao also said.

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Against TNT, Guiao said they pulled through with the help of luck.
"Masyado kaming swerte, kulang ang TNT at maganda ang start namin. Buti na nga lang maganda ang start namin," said Guiao.

"Ganoon sila (TNT) kagaling. Kahit kulang sila, they showed class. Kinayod nila at muntik pa nilang kunin ang game."

From a couple of 20-point deficits and from 17 down at the start of the fourth, the Tropang Giga got into the game, pulling even at 98-all, but failed to complete what could've been a shocker.

For sure, the E-Painters had their own wondrous efforts, including bigtime hits by Gian Mamuyac and Keith Datu down the stretch.

And TNT was actually still within striking distance when Gabe Norwood canned in the deciding free throws with 4.6 ticks to go, 110-106.
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Mamuyac fired a trey that stopped TNT on its tracks. And the young guard from Ateneo finished with a team high 25 points that went with three rebounds and two assists.

Jhonard Clarito (17), Leonard Santillan (15), Adrian Nocum (11), Keith Datu (11) and Shaun Ildefonso (10) also finished in double figures for the E-Painters who was in full control in the first three quarters before facing a spirited TNT chase fuelled by Calvin Oftana's 15-point explosion in the fourth.

Curiously, Oftana himself put to waste his 27-point overall output on critical errors in the closing seconds.

Also going for naught was Kelly Williams 32 points -- his biggest output in a TNT uniform.

Rain or Shine escaped and advanced to its first semis since the 2019 Commissioner's Cup.

The Elasto Painters face the Beermen in a David vs Goliath duel. The winner gets a crack at the crown versus the victor in the Ginebra-Meralco semis. (SB)

The Scores:

RAIN OR SHINE 110 - Mamuyac 25, Clarito 17, Santillan 15, Datu 11, Nocum 11, Ildefonso 10, Norwood 6, Caracut 5, Asistio 5, Belga 5, Demusis 0.

TNT 109 - K.Williams 32, Oftana 27, Pogoy 22, Khobuntin 10, Montalbo 4, Castro 4, Aurin 4, Galinato 2, Heruela 2, M.Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Reyes 0, Ponferrada 0.

QUARTERS: 39-22, 59-45, 89-72, 110-109