Rain or Shine Elasto Painters bounce back from loss, beat Meralco Bolts in PBA semis
The league-leading Rain or Shine Elasto Painters bounced back from a previous loss by pulling off a 99-86 win over the Meralco Bolts last night in the 37th PBA Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Painters solidified their hold of the solo lead with their ninth win in 11 games and bolstered their campaign of snatching their first-ever finals appearance.
Rain or Shine rebounded from a sorry 90-88 loss to the Perton Blaze Boosters last Friday night and they did despite the ejection of fiery head coach Yeng Guiao. Guiao was tossed out in the first quarter after incurring two technical fouls.
Rain or Shine started to work early and ended the first quarter with a baker’s dozen lead, 26-13.
Without their head coach, the Painters played like a headless chicken as they sputtered in the succeeding period that allowed the Bolts to come back.
Meralco was already ahead at the bend, 45-44, and stretched the lead to three points, 71-68, after the third period.
The Painters regained their rhythm with Beau Belga and Ronjay Buenafe sparking a key run.
Belga nailed a three-pointer that put the Painters on top, 75-73. Buenafe then converted a rare four-point play as Belga added another triple and Rain or Shine seized control by taking an 82-76 lead in the final 7:46.
Jamelle Cornley led the Painters’ scoring with 21 points. Mario West scored a game-high 33 points for the Bolts, who dropped their second straight semifinal game and seventh overall in 11 games.
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