PBA: Elasto Painters clinch no. 1 with overtime win over Meralco
Paul Lintag on Jun 24, 2018 07:08 PM
The Elasto Painters have secured first place and will take a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
No. 1 goes to Rain or Shine.
The Elasto Painters won yet another close game, this time beating Meralco in overtime, 106-99, in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup Sunday at the Big Dome.
ROS improved to 9-1, best in the league. Rain or Shine is also 4-0 in overtime games this conference.
More importanly, the Elasto Painters have secured first place and will take a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
"I think it's the fourth overtime we played this conference, we won all four. I'm happy about it," head coach Caloy Garcia said.
"But it's still a long way for this team. Marami pa ring turnovers, but we can still get better, even though we're winning. It's good to be No. 1 right now, we secured at least the No. 1 spot but we don't know who we're playing. it's the first time we have the 2x to beat, hopefully tuloy-tuloy ito," he added.
After a dreadful final minutes of regulation in which both teams failed to break a 96-all tie, Rain or Shine got some cushion in extra time as Reggie Johnson nailed a three from the top of the key for the first basket of OT.
The Elasto Painters' defense then stood its ground. limiting Meralco to only three points in five minutes to secure the win and the top overall seed.
Johnson was the high man for ROS, scoring 21 points on top of 18 rebounds while Maverick Ahanmisi added 20.
Chris Tiu finished with 13 and Ed Daquioag added another 11, including the final dagger three in overtime for the Elasto Painters.
ROS was on fire to start, taking a 21-9 lead in the opening period.
The Elasto Painters almost immediately lost that as Meralco settled down but ROS regained control in the second half where they led by as many as 18, 73-55.
Meralco would charge back though, as the league's no. 1 defensive team turned the game into a struggle, eventually catching up in the fourth only to fall short in OT.
Chris Newsome led the Bolts with 21 points while import Arinze Onuaku scored 20.
Baser Amer dropped 19 for Meralco who will enter the playoffs with back-to-back defeats.
At 7-4, the Bolts' final ranking is yet to be determined though they will figure in a best-of-3 series in the quarterfinals.
RAIN OR SHINE 106 – Johnson 21, Ahanmisi 20, Tiu 13, Daquioag 11, Almazan 9, Norwood 9, Yap 7, Nambatac 5, Belga 5, Ponferada 4, Casino 2, Torres 0, Washington 0.
MERALCO 99 – Newsome 21, Onuaku 20, Amer 19, De Ocampo 10, Canaleta 9, Hodge 7, Caram 4, Dillinger 3, Lanete 3, Tolomia 3, Hugnatan 0.
Quarters: 28-27; 64-51; 84-81; 96-96 (Reg); 106-99 (OT).
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