LAPU-LAPU City - Rain or Shine survived a scary San Miguel Beer rally down the stretch and held on for a huge 91-85 win that kept the team's flickering playoffs hopes alive in the PBA Governors' Cup.
The Elasto Painters saw their huge 22-point lead almost vanished in thin air behind a searing Beermen comeback in the fourth, but managed to avert a total collapse by sinking crucial free throws inside the dying seconds of the Petron Saturday Special at the Hoops Dome.
Five players finished in double figures for the Elasto Painters led by import Richard Ross, who had a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, while rookie Javee Mocon shared scoring honor with him also with 16 points and grabbing 14 rebounds to help the team stay in the fight for the last playoffs berth in the conference.
Rain or Shine improved to solo 10th place with a 3-7 record, just a game behind no. 8 team NorthPort (3-5).
The loss was a crucial one for San Miguel as it absorbed its third loss in the last four outings. The grand slam-seeking ballclub fell to a 6-4 card and out of the Top 4 circle in the standings.
The setback likewise spoiled the league debut of new import John Holland, who contributed 10 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, and two blocks as a replacement for the injured Dezmine Wells.
But back-to-back three-pointers by Holland and Arwind Santos in the final 60 seconds had the Beermen closing to within 85-87 after trailing by as many as 43-65 midway in the third period.
The Elasto Painters however, countered by closing the game on a 6-0 run behind the free throws of Gabe Norwood and Ray Nambatac to secure the stunning win.
Both Nambatac and Norwood finished with 15 points each, with Norwood going 3-of-5 from three-point range including three straight in the third period to give the Elasto Painters that big 22-point margin.
Jewel Ponferada was the other Elasto Painters in double figures with 10 points.
Chris Ross had 19 points, five assists, and seven steals to pace the Beermen, who also got a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds from Cebu's beloved son June Mar Fajardo. (RG)
Rain or Shine (91) - Mocon 16, Ross 16, Norwood 15, Nambatac 15, Ponferada 10, Daquioag 6, Belga 5, Borboran 5, Torres 3, Exciminiano 0.
San Miguel (85) - Ross 19, Fajardo 17, Santos 14, Holland 10, Cabagnot 9, Lassiter 5, Nabong 5, Romeo 4, Tautuaa 2, Pessumal 2.
Quarterscores: 18-11; 46-31; 69-52; 91-85.