Norbert Torres of Rain or Shine and Stanley Pringle of NorthPort battle for the rebound in their quarterfinal game last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jun Mendoza
E-Painters, Fuel Masters sail swiftly to semis
Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - April 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Phoenix Pulse sustained its breakthrough run while Rain or Shine kept its playoff tradition as the two teams claimed the first two berths in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup Final Four at the MOA Arena in Pasay City last night.

The Fuel Masters trounced the Alaska Milk Aces, 91-76, for their first ever semifinal appearance while the Elasto Painters repulsed the NorthPort Batang Pier, 91-85, for yet another semis stint and a shot at a seventh finals.

Both the Fuel Masters and the E-Painters lived up to their high playoff seedings, stoking up the fire of their smoldering showings in the elims to eliminate the Aces and the Batang Pier.

 Top seed Phoenix advanced to the semis versus the winner of the San Miguel-TNT KaTropa quarters matchup while second seed Rain or Shine progressed to the next round against the victor of the Ginebra-Magnolia duel.

The Gin Kings and the Beermen go for the two remaining semis berths, seeking the clinchers in their respective quarters matchups at the Big Dome tonight.

Hardly taking a break since their last game in the elims on March 16, the Fuel Masters ripped apart an Alaska side which barely made the quarters on a one-game knockout playoff with NLEX Friday.

With just a one-day preparation for the top seeds, the Aces simply proved no match.

Jason Perkins scored a career-high 31 points that went with nine rebounds and three assists in their historic triumph.

The E-Painters themselves hardly got rusty from their long three-week layoff, keeping a mean form to clinch a second Final 4  since their 2016 Commissioner’s Cup title run.

Rey Nambatac was among the lead lights in their quarters triumph, firing away 4-of-5 three-pointers and adding five rebounds, four assists and one steal against one turnover in a solid off-the-bench job.

“From the All-Star break, our mindset was already focused on this game. We didn’t want our effort in the elims to go to waste,” said Nambatac.

ROS coach Caloy Garcia rotated 11 men, playing them at least eight minutes. Ed Daquiaog was already the top scorer with just 15 but all others contributed at least four in a balanced scoring.

The scores

First Game

Rain or Shine 91 – Daquioag 15, Nambatac 14, Belga 13, Ponferada 8, Norwood 8, Mocon 8, Yap 7, Ahanmisi 5, Torres 5, Borboran 4, Rosales 4, Maiquez 0, Onwubere 0, Alejandro 0. 

NorthPort 85 – Tautuaa 24, Lanete 20, Grey 11, Pringle 9, Taha 7, Bolick 5, Guinto 4, Flores 0, Gabayni 0, Sollano 0.

Quarterscores: 14-17, 43-33, 73-62, 91-85.

Second Game

Phoenix 91 – Perkins 31, Wright 14, Abueva 12, Jazul 6, Mendoza 6, Chua 6, Revilla 6, Kramer 5, Mallari 2, Marcelo 3, Intal 0, Guevarra 0, Gamboa 0, Napoles 0, Dennison 0.

Alaska 76 – Casio 19, Enciso 15, Teng 12, Banchero 6, Galliguez 6, Cruz 4, Baclao 4, Ayaay 3, Pascual 2, Thoss 2, Exciminiano 2, Racal 1, Babilonia 0.

Quarterscores: 18-15, 47-35, 72-49, 91-76

BASKETBALL PBA
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