Apr 13, 2024

Elasto Painters extend win streak to four games

A LITTLE teamwork went a long way for Rain or Shine as it beat Terrafirma, 116-104, Saturday to stretch its winning streak in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Caloocan Sports Complex.

Beau Belga, Andrei Caracut, Jhonard Clarito and Santi Santillan spearheaded the Elasto Painters' offense but it was their willingness to share the ball for much better shots spelled the big difference in their surge to a fourth straight win following a 0-4 start to the tourney.

In all, Rain or Shine went 42-of-86 shots on a league season-high 40 assists, almost 16 above its pre-game average, and enabled the team to shrug off Terrafirma's last notable threat that put the Dyip within 89-92.

It was the most assists produced in a game since San Miguel Beer dished out 46 against NorthPort in last season's Governors Cup eliminations.

Only nine days after notching his first triple double, Belga turned up another solid performance with 19 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, with five of his points coming during a 10-0 run that gave the E-Painters a 102-89 cushion.

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The burly 37-year-old scored five more points to spark a 12-5 exchange that effectively took the wind out of Terrafirma's sails and practically put the game away, 114-98, only 1:39 left.

Realizing a second career double-double was Caracut, who notched 17 points and 10 assists, with Clarito adding 16 points and Santillan 15 and nine boards in leading Rain or Shine to fifth in the standings.

The loss was Terrafirma's second straight, dropping it to a 4-5 slate and endangering its bid to advance to the quarterfinals.

The Dyip must now win against NorthPort on April 24 and Magnolia on May 3 to secure a spot in the next round.

Stephen Holt tallied 20 points and 13 assists but fell two rebounds short of a triple double while Juami Tiongson also scored 20 points and Javi Gomez de Liano 18 for Terrafirma.

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The Dyip actually engaged the E-Painters in a close battle through the first three quarters and early in the fourth, but could not find enough traction when it counted the most.

Just three days after booming in seven triples in a narrow 119-113 loss to SMB, Isaac Go struggled this time around from beyond the arc as he went only 1-of-6. But that lone triple came following back-to-back drives by Holt and Gomez de Liano, capping the Dyip's surge to within 89-92.(NC)