Taggart comes up big in overtime as ROS holds off Mahindra

March 19, 2017

SHAWN Taggart came up big when needed to and helped Rain or Shine hold off a gritty Mahindra crew.

Taggart scored four of his team-high 29 points in overtime and also left his fingerprints in probably the game’s biggest play as the Elasto Painters carved a 99-95 victory over the Floodbuster Sunday for their second straight win in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Seemingly on cruise control for most of the second half, Taggart suddenly came alive when his team needed him to and he also found Jeff Chan for a corner 3 that gave Rain or Shine a 97-93 cushion, going to the last 1:39 of the game.

Mahindra's status as a relative newcomer to the game then surfaced as it failed to come up with the right plays and points after Taggart's trickler of a basket maintained the four-point separation heading to the game's final 69 seconds.

"It's probably the chemistry we had," said winning coach Caloy Garcia, who was also celebrating his 42nd birthday.

"Sila as a group halos bago pa lang magkasama in that kind of a situation. Kami ang last five sa loob matagal ng magkakasama."

In the end, the E-Painters emerged with a follow-up to its 113-105 win over NLEX last Friday.

Mahindra absorbed its second straight loss after dropping an 86-94 decision to Meralco also on opening day.

James White had 29 points and 21 rebounds and his block on Chan's layup ensured an 88-all count in the dying seconds of regulation.

The deadlock stayed and OT forced when White missed a jumper and he also failed to pull Mahindra closer when he muffed two charities off Raymond Almazan's deliberate foul in the last 56 seconds of the extension.

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Jason Deutchman's ensuing triple try went wide and the Floodbusters' last three tries also failed to find their mark.

Beau Belga and James Yap each added 12 points for Rain or Shine with Chan chipping in 10.

In his finest game thus far with Mahindra, Gary David scored 13 points, all coming in the fourth period that yanked the Floodbuster back from 73-80 deficit and into an 86-80 lead.

But Belga and Chan sparked an 8-2 exchange that was helped along by David's turnover in the last 37 seconds of regulation.

The game has extra meaning for Jay Washington as his reverse layup with 2:30 left in the second quarter not only gave Rain or Shine a 41-40 lead, but also made him the 83rd member of the 5,000-point club and the first-ever E-Painter to join the list.