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Sports

E-Painters join playoff party

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
E-Painters join playoff party
Andrei Caracut of Rain or Shine
PBA image

MANILA, Philippines — With a strong windup, Rain or Shine zoomed ahead of NLEX and hopped on the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal train.

The Elasto Painters outscored the Road Warriors in the last 7:31, 23-13, en route to a 110-100 victory that secured the last Final-8 ticket for Yeng Guiao’s ROS charges last night at the PhilSports Arena.

ROS ended a slump of two conferences of early exits at the expense of Guiao’s former team, which missed the playoffs for the first time after making the last two.

Up next for the Elasto Painters are the top-seeded Bay Area Dragons, who enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage.

“Whoever wanted it badly would win the game. I guess the players proved they wanted it more,” said Guiao, who steered ROS to the quarters in his first tournament back at the helm after leaving NLEX in August.

“Malaking bagay ito kasi after three conferences, ngayon lang ulit nakapasok ng quarterfinals. Mas mahirap pa ngayon kasi nadagdagan yung teams…eh yung pinasok na team ang lakas lakas pa (Bay Area). We find it really meaningful na nakarating kami dito kasi bago lang kami magkakasama,” he added.

Rey Nambatac fired nine of his 10 points in the fiery closing barrage to backstop Ryan Pearson (24), Andrei Caracut (career-high 19), Gian Mamuyac (15) and Mike Nieto (12).

The Elasto Painters made the most of their second chance to advance after squandering an 11-point lead in a 106-90 loss to Magnolia last Friday. A win there could have sent ROS through outright and avoided last night’s sudden death versus NLEX.

“Natututo pa rin ang team. These are young guys. Yung hindi namin nagawa sa Magnolia – preserving the lead, holding on to the lead – nagawa naman namin ngayon,” said Guiao.

Their reward is a David-versus-Goliath matchup with the Dragons.

“May advantage sila sa lahat – sa import, sa height, sa camaraderie, chemistry,” noted Guiao.

NLEX

PBA COMMISSIONER’S CUP

RAIN OR SHINE

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