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E-Painters wax hot in Q4 to tie series against Aces

By Ivan Saldajeno

Rain Or Shine fought back from 11 points down to beat Alaska, 98-91, in their PBA Christmas Day clash at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Elasto Painters trailed the Aces, 58-69, late in the third quarter.

But an 10-2 run drew the ROS squad within two, 68-71, early in the fourth quarter behind three triples, two from Chris Tiu and another from Jeff Chan.

Alaska stretched the gap momentarily to seven, 78-71, later in the period.

But the Elasto Painters took advantage of the Aces' early penalty situation and opened a critical 15-4 run behind six free throws to take an 86-82 lead with 4:32 left in the game.

Sonny Thoss scored a field goal and a charity to cut Rain Or Shine's lead to one, 86-85.

But those turned out to be his final points as Gabe Norwood forced Thoss' sixth foul with 3:51 remaining.

Norwood made up for his missed free throws off the Thoss foul and nailed two crucial jumpers to keep the E-Painters in front, 92-89.

Frustrations mounted on the Aces side as Calvin Abueva apparently punched Jonathan Uyloan in the midsection, leading to an ejection after incurring a flagrant foul penalty two.

Uyloan split his charities, but Norwood sealed the win with a three-pointer from the left corner, tying the best-of-seven Philippine Cup semifinal series, 2-2.

Chan, who struggled in the past two games, sizzled for 25 points off a 5-of-10 clip from beyond the arc and five rebounds.

Thoss also scored 25 markers.

Box Scores:

Rain Or Shine 98-Chan 25, Norwood 12, Belga 11, Tiu 10, Lee 8, Quinahan 7, Almazan 7, Uyloan 5, Arana 5, Ibanes 4, Tang 2, Cruz 2, Teng 0

Alaska 91-Thoss 25, Abueva 14, Casio 10, Manuel 9, Menk 8, Banchero 6, Baguio 6, Jazul 6, Hontiveros 3, Exciminiano 2, Dela Cruz 2, Eman 0, Dela Rosa 0

Quarterscores: 20-21, 38-41, 64-71, 98-91