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Bullock, Almazan lift ‘Rain’ over Phoenix

Rain or Shine’s Raymond Almazan reaches out from behind Michael Miranda of Phoenix for a putback during their PBA Governors Cup showdown at Ynares Center. PBA IMAGE

Games tomorrow (Smart Araneta Coliseum)

4:15 p.m. – Alaska vs Meralco

7 p.m. – GlobalPort vs Star

MANILA, Philippines — J’Nathan Bullock and Raymond Almazan churned out personal conference-high numbers while Gabe Norwood dished out a stellar game as Rain or Shine eased Phoenix Petroleum out of the playoff race with a 116-111 triumph in the PBA Governors Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo last night.

Bullock sizzled with 33 points and led Rain or Shine’s torrid outside shooting to negate the huge combined 69-point explosion of Phoenix import Brandon Brown and top gun Matthew Wright.

The ROS reinforcement fired away seven three pointers while his local teammates combined for 10 triples as against the mere seven treys of Phoenix as the E-Painters rebounded from a loss to the San Miguel Beermen the last time out to stay in the race for the Top Four with a 5-3 win-loss slate.

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The Fuel Masters bowed out of the fight for the post-elims play with an eighth straight loss after starting the tourney with back-to-back wins.

“We still have a chance (for the Top Four), but I’m thinking of Barangay Ginebra first,” said ROS coach Caloy Garcia, looking forward to their critical match against the Gin Kings on Saturday.

“Ginebra is one of the best teams in the league and they’re the defending champions. Coming off a loss (to San Miguel), coach Tim (Cone) is likely to make the adjustments and push his players hard,” Garcia added.

Glen Rice Jr. delivered a triple-double job with 25 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists while Jayson Castro and Kelly Williams made key plays down the stretch as TNT KaTropa outlasted NLEX, 112-107, in a furious battle to move up to solo fourth at 6-3 later in the night.

The battle for the top four remained wide open at least among the seven leading teams with the Texters stopping the Road Warriors.

At 7-3, the Road Warriors, however, can still automatically claim a Top Four spot with a win over the Star Hotshots in the final game of the elims.

The scores:

First Game

RAIN OR SHINE 116 – Bullock 33, Almazan 25, Norwood 17, Cruz 14, Yap 9, Borboran 7, Tiu 6, Ahanmisi 5, Trollano 0, Belga 0, Matias 0.

PHOENIX 111 – Wright 36, Brown 33, Jazul 9, Wilson W. 8, Kramer 8, Intal 7, Chan 6, Lanete 2, Eriobu 2, Alolino 0, Miranda 0, Dehesa 0.

Quarterscores: 24-18, 61-45, 85-84, 116-111

Second Game

TNT 112 – Rice Jr. 25, Williams 19, Rosario 17, Castro 13, Tautuaa 12, Semerad 10, Reyes 8, Pogoy 6, Carey 2, Nuyles 0.

NLEX 107 – Fuller 28, Mallari 19, Fonacier 10, Alas 9, Baguio 7, Lastimosa 7, Al-Hussaini 6, Tiongson 5, Soyud 5, Quiñahan 5, Rios 2, Ighalo 2, Taulava 2, J. Villanueva 0.

Quarterscores: 25-20, 50-46, 83-77, 112-107

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