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HomeSportPBA: Rain or Shine locks up quarterfinals seat after rout of NLEX

PBA: Rain or Shine locks up quarterfinals seat after rout of NLEX

Rain or Shine Elasto Painters' Beau Belga in the PBA Philippine Cup

Rain or Shine Elasto Painters’ Beau Belga in the PBA Philippine Cup. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–Rain or Shine made NLEX an unsightly thing to see all of Friday night for a 120-104 victory and assure itself of a ticket in the next round of the PBA Philippine Cup.

The Elastopainters found gaps in the Road Warriors’ game early on and made them pay dearly as the contest at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City plodded along, ultimately rising to 6-5 in the standings and steering clear from a twice-to-win disadvantage.

“The positive energy–I’ve seen it in practice. We just had to get back into shape [following a break]. And we also hit our threes–doing that gives any team a chance to win,” said head coach Yeng Guiao whose wards enjoyed leads as many as 26 points.

READ: PBA: Beau Belga scoring prowess fueling Painters’ ongoing streak

Beau Belga played yet another fine game, scoring 18 points to star for the young, blue-collar squad. Five other Elastopainters delivered twin-digit scores in the blowout that came at the expense of an NLEX side which was one of the hottest teams early into the conference.

The Elastopainters’ victory also allowed Barangay Ginebra to sew up on the No. 2 seed, giving the crowd darling a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.

Robert Bolick Jr. had 38 points in his return from a paternity leave. Tony Semerad was the other NLEX player to finish in double figures–the shortage in contributions dooming the team to a 5-5 record that puts Frankie Lim and the rest of his charges in a precarious spot.

READ: PBA: Beau Belga getting smarter with age, Guiao jokes

Two other teams–TNT and Meralco‑-share the same mark with the Road Warriors, and with a game left in each of those clubs’ schedules, the bottom half of the Top 8 is expected to be as unpredictable as ever.

Only Phoenix, Blackwater, and Converge have been dashed from playoff contention. Terrafirma and NorthPort, both 5-6, await the results of Saturday and Sunday’s games to determine their fate.

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