THREE out of three.
Rain or Shine used another balanced attack to bring down erstwhile unbeaten Meralco, 85-72, and grab the solo lead in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Javee Mocon and Beau Belga provided the big difference as the Elasto Painters outduelled the Bolts in another intense battle on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
Mocon scattered 18 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Belga added a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Elasto Painters, who weathered several rallies by the Bolts.
Rain or Shine coach Chris Gavina did not mince any words in praising both Mocon and Belga.
.“I’ve said it many times before, when your best players are your hardest workers. We want to be the hardest working team in the PBA,” said Gavina after the game.
I’m really grateful that our best players set the standard from day one,” added Gavina, who was appointed as coach of the team only last March.
“Our expectations were just like any other team — extremely high. It all boiled down to preparation, and the commitment of the players.”
….With Mocon and Belga leading the way, the E-Painters established as many as 21 points, 82-61, late in the payoff period.
A closing 11-3 run enabled the Bolts to trim the deficit to what it was in the end.
Chris Newsome carried the fight for the Bolts with 13 points, six assists, and five rebounds, while Raymond Almazan contributed 10 points.
Meralco dropped to 2-1 in the coronavirus-delayed tournament.
Rain or Shine (85) — Mocon 18, Belga 17, Torres 11, Nambatac 11, Wong 8, Borboran 7, Caracut 6, Norwood 5, Ponferada 2, Guinto 0, Tolentino 0, Santillan 0.
Meralco (72) — Newsome 13, Almazan 10, Hodge 9, Hugnatan 9, Pinto 8, Quinto 7, Belo 4, Black 4, Maliksi 3, Canete 2, Jose 2, Jackson 1, Caram 0, Pasaol 0.
Quarterscores: 13-18, 42-35, 68-55, 85-72.
(Ynares Sports Arena)
2 p.m. — NortPort vs. San Miguel
4:35 p.m. — Magnolia vs. Ginebra
7 p.m. – NLEX vs. Terrafirma