Maverick Ahanmisi of Rain or Shine ElastoPainters shoots a jumper over Norbert Torres of TNT KaTropa on Friday, Dec. 22 a the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay. | PBA Images

Painters avoid meltdown, escape Texters
Denison Rey A. Dalupang ( - December 22, 2017 - 1:40pm

MANILA, Philippines  — Rain or Shine leaned on its defensive mettle to survive a feisty TNT side, 82-79, and start their PBA Philippine Cup campaign on a winning note, Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The Painters gave up an 11-point cushion to KaTropa in the final period but were able to get their act together and avoid disaster behind the combined efforts of Beau Belga, Maverick Ahanmisi and Chris Tiu.

TNT, behind the always-reliable Kelly Williams, kept their foes within reach in the dying moments by drilling a triple. 

But the gap generated by Ahanmisi’s freebies in the final 35 seconds proved to be just too much for TNT. Williams had another look from the rainbow territory but couldn’t get it to go.

“We're just lucky that they missed the shot at the end,” Painters head coach Caloy Garcia said. "Dami pa ring lapses but I think we're gonna get better.”

"Sabi ko nga sa mga players before the game was we practiced hard for one month and a half, to prepare for this conference, wag lang nila sayangin,” he furthered.

"We wanted a high-scoring game. I think our team was built to run. Today, masyadong maraming turnovers and we could have controlled the boards better,” Garcia offered. 

"But we played a very tough team, I think TNT is one of the top three teams in this conference that's why we're lucky we were able to beat one of those top teams,” he closed.

Rain or Shine faces Blackwater Elite — who were dealt with a loss earlier that night — on Friday next week. They tangle at the same, old venue in Pasay City.

The scores: 

RAIN OR SHINE 82 — Belga 14, Tiu 12, Almazan 11, Norwood 11, Ahanmisi 9, Daquioag 8, Borboran 5, Nambatac 5, Trollano 4, Ponferrada 3, Maiquez 0, Yap 0. 

TNT 79 — Castro 18, Pogoy 16, Semerad 13, Williams 11, Rosario 8, Reyes 7, Torres 4, Tautuaa 2, Carey 0, Nuyles 0, Tallo 0. 


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