RAIN or Shine made the play that mattered most in the endgame and was amply rewarded because of it.
Rey Nambatac's jumper capped a perfectly executed inbound play that lifted the Elasto Painters over the Columbian Dyip 88-86 in overtime Sunday in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Batangas City Spots Coliseum.
The floater over the outstretched arms of Lester Proper officially became the game-winner when Columbian's own inbound play inside the last two seconds was broken up, cutting short Rain or Shine's four-game losing skein to the same team in as many conferences.
"It's finally nice to get a win against Columbian," said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia.
"We lost for the last four conferences against them. I told the players the only motivation they can get is to win today's game."
More important, the E-Painters bounced back from a sorry loss their last tie out and improved to an even 3-3 slate overall.
Denzel Bowles, whose failure to call a timeout in the last six seconds resulted in a 105-107 OT loss to NorthPort last Wednesday, atoned for that miscue by notching 29 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.
Nambatac chipped in 10 as well as fellow starter Jewel Ponferrada as Rain or Shine bucked 20 missed free throws out of 39 attempts with a visibly tired Bowles accounting for 14 of those flubbed freebies.
Prosper had 26 points and a gamehigh 15 rebounds, but still failed to realize a win in his third game with Columbian, which dropped to a 1-6 card overall.
Rashawn McCarthy added 15 points, including a questionable triple that forged an 81-all standoff and forced OT while CJ Perez had his own double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds on top of six assists, but went just 4-of-20 from the field.
Bowles' charity actually gave Rain or Shine an 81-78 lead, 24.2 seconds left in regulation, and Columbian's chances of tying the game got smaller when Bowles blocked a Glenn Khobuntin jumper that left only 4.2 seconds on the clock.
But McCarthy turned Perez's inbound into a fallaway corner triple that was counted despite television replays showing he actually stepped on the sideline during his catch.
Seemingly even more pumped up after that, Columbian zoomed ahead through a Khobuntin putback and a Jackson Corpuz charity, but Rain or Shine gamely fought back aand finally tied it up for the last time at 86 on a Beau Belga free throw, 38.4 ticks left.
After Perez missed a drive, Garcia called timeout for the play that had multiple options before Gabe Norwood issued the perfect inbound bounce pass that the cutting Nambatac caught for the game-clinching shot.
Going for naught was Columbian's grittier stand earlier when it battled through a bad second quarter, in which it shot poorly and stared at an early 31-42 deficit, to repeatedly catch up.
Inadvertently helping that fightback along was the E-Painters' free throw woes and McCarthy finally finding his touch most in the fourth quarter where he actually drilled in three of his total five triples.(NC)
Rain or Shine 88 - Bowles 29, Ponferada 10, Nambatac 10, Daquioag 9, Mocon 8, Norwood 8, Belga 5, Rosales 4, Yap 3, Torres 2, Borboran 0.
Columbian 86 - Prosper 26, McCarthy 15, Perez 12, Corpuz 11, Khobuntin 8, Camson 5, King 4, Cahilig 2, Calvo 2, Celda 1, Agovida 0, Reyes 0, Escoto 0, Faundo 0.
Quarterscores: 22-27, 44-39, 62-62, 81-81, 88-86.