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Rain or Shine rallies late to score comeback win against Ginebra, arrests two-game slide

By Patrick Sutare

PASAY--Rain or Shine erased a 16-point deficit before hanging tough down the stretch to squeak past Ginebra, 118-112, Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in the main game of the PBA Commissioner's Cup double-header.

The win snaps the Elasto Painters' two-game slide while putting an end to the Gin Kings' own five-game winning streak.

Trailing and catching up for almost 40 minutes of the match, the might of the then reeling E-Painters was really tested.

After overhauling the huge deficit, the boys of coach Caloy Garcia had to withstand the clutch exploits that is Justin Brownlee.

The Ginebra import took matters in his hands when the Barangay saw their lead go down the drain.

Down five approaching the last two minutes, 104-109, Brownlee unleashed a personal 7-0 blast capped by a booming trey in transition to give Ginebra back the lead, 111-109.

But the Elasto Painters stayed composed, mounting another 5-0 run to get back ahead with 31.9 tick left, 114-111.

Getting the favour of the end game breaks, ROS silenced the crowd and went on to complete the come from behind win.

Returning import Duke Crews proved his worth immediately for Rain or Shine, registering a monstrous 28-point, 22-rebound performance for the win.

Jericho Cruz and Jay Washington combined for 35 points and provided the finishing touches in crunch time for the Painters.

James Yap also had 15 points, most of which coming from a hot-shooting first quarter where he kept ROS to within steps from the rolling Ginebra squad.

The turning point of the game came at the tailend of the third canto. The Barangay had a 15-point distance with a minute left in the frame, 93-78. But they allowed the E-Painters to bring a slight momentum into the payoff period after five unanswered points were put into board by Chris Tiu and Cruz.

At the start of the final frame, the momentum has fully shifted to ROS. Cruz continued to wax hot to maneuver an 8-2 spurt and put the Elasto Painters to within four, 95-91, with still 10 minutes to go.

At the 8:56 mark, ROS finally seized control after Washington buried a three from straight away, 96-95.

As Tiu knocked down another trey at the 7:34 mark, ROS was already up by five, 100-95, making it a 22-2 onslaught bridging to the last moments of the previous quarter.

The ensuing plays had the both teams engage in a total slugfest, including the Brownlee explosion. In the end, the Elasto Painters prevailed to get back to over .500 in the team standings with a 5-4 card.

The Barangay, meanwhile, absorbed just its second loss of the tourney, giving them a 5-2 slate. Brownlee paced the Kings with 38 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Joe Devance added 19 while Japeth Aguilar tallied 16 in his return after a tour of duty with the national team. Scottie Thompson nearly had a triple-double of 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a losing effort.

Follow him on Twitter: @patricksutare