The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters dropped a 23-2 bomb in the second half and withstood the late attack by Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to come away with a 118-112 victory in the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday at Cuneta Astrodome.
Import Duke Crews made 28 points and 22 boards in his PBA comeback while Jericho Cruz added 19 points and five boards to help the Elasto Painters (5-4) who rallied from 16 points down to snap their two-game skid.
Justin Brownlee finished with 38 points, eight rebounds and six dimes but his numbers weren’t enough to save the win streak of Ginebra (5-2) which had won five straight before bowing to Rain or Shine.
Rain or Shine was staring at a 93-77 deficit late in the third quarter when coach Caloy Garcia’s boys mounted their comeback.
Crews, Cruz and Jay Washington suddenly sizzled to carry their team back to the lead. Washington’s triple capped the fiery run that gave Rain or Shine a 96-95 edge early in the fourth frame.
Rain or Shine established a 109-101 lead but Ginebra had one last run in them led by Brownlee who scored seven straight points to fuel a 10-0 spurt that put the Gin Kings back to the driver’s seat, 111-109, with 1:29 left.
Washington then made three out of his next four free throw attempts as Rain or Shine regained the lead. Cruz then made a clutch play on the other end, stealing the ball from Brownlee’s hands and scoring a fastbreak layup to push their lead, 114-111, with 33 ticks left.
But Rain or Shine left the door open for a Ginebra comeback after Gabe Norwood split his free throws. Scottie Thompson however made just one out of his two charities, derailing the Gin Kings’ rally bid.
Washington and Cruz sealed the Rain or Shine win with their freebies.