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ROS stays in outright semis race with comeback win over Meralco

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Rain Or Shine bounced back from a poor first half to finish Meralco's PBA Philippine Cup campaign on a sour note with a 97-87 victory at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.

The Elasto Painters started out flat against the Bolts, conceding a 42-49 halftime deficit which the latter improved to a 46-56 scoreline early in the third.

But ROS began pouring it on late in the period, taking the lead, 67-66, entering the fourth and pulled away for good in the dying stages of the game to get its eighth win against two losses, putting the team in a good position for one of the outright semifinal seats given to the top two clubs at the end of the eliminations.

Jeff Chan fired 24 points and eight rebounds, while Raymond Almazan added 21 points, 17 rebounds, and two blocks for the Elasto Painters, who are a half-game ahead of the Alaska Aces for second place and just a full game behind the San Miguel Beermen for the top spot. The Aces and the Beermen will collide in the other scheduled fixture later Wednesday.

Jared Dillinger finished with 15 markers, two boards, and three assists for the Bolts, who ended their sluggish season-opening conference stint at 1-10.

Box Scores:

Rain Or Shine 97-Chan 24, Almazan 21, Cruz 13, Belga 9, Norwood 8, Quinahan 5, Ahanmisi 4, Ponferada 4, Teng 3, Ibanes 2, Matias 2, Trollano 2, Tiu 0

Meralco 87-Dillinger 15, Amer 13, Newsome 12, Alapag 10, Nabong 9, Hodge 8, Hugnatan 8, Buenafe 7, Al-Hussaini 5, David 0, Faundo 0

Quarterscores: 23-22, 42-49, 67-66, 97-87

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