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EPainters wallop Aces, fan top 4 hopes

Rain or Shine import J'Nathan Bullock (L) tries a basket while Alaska counterpart LaDontae Henton defends in a piece of PBA action. Bullock scored 14 points to guide the Painters to victory. (Photo: PBA Media Bureau) 

By Ricky Manliguis

ANTIPOLO CITY—Behind balanced scoring, Rain or Shine clobbered also-ran Alaska, 112-82, in the first game of Wednesday action of the 2017 Oppo-PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center.

The Elasto Painters used a searing second quarter assault to take the fight out of the already-eliminated Aces and kept its hunt for a twice-to-beat  quarterfinal spot alive in the season-ending conference with its sixth victory in 10 outings.

J’Nathan Bullock topscored for the Asian Coatings franchise with 14 points, eight of which came from ROS’ 34-18 second-quarter assault. He also had four rebounds, an assist and a steal.  
 Jericho Cruz and Beau Belga provided the punch off the bench, scoring 12 apiece. Don Trollano was the other Painter in double-digits with 11.

Cruz was the catalyst in the third quarter, firing 10 points as ROS built a huge 37-point cushion, 98-61, then maintained it the rest of the way.

Playing without stars Calvin Abueva and Sonny Thoss, the Aces ended its elimination campaign with a 3-8 card. This game also was the final game of veterans Dondon Hontiveros and Tony Dela Cruz.

“We needed a game like this going into our final game in the eliminations,” ROS coach Caloy Garcia said.

“I just told the players that we can’t just come and play Alaska. We’re also lucky that Thoss and Calvin didn’t play today.” 

LaDontae Henton  paced Alaska with a game-best 20 points and seven boards, while Dela Cruz cashed in 12.  

The scores:
Rain or Shine 112 – Bullock 14, Cruz 12, Belga 12, Trollano 11, Tiu 9, Robles 9, Borboran 9, Almazan 7, Yap 6, Ahanmisi 5, Matias 4, King 4, Daquioag 4, Norwood 3, Maiquez 3, Ponferada 0
Alaska 82 - Henton 20, Dela Cruz 12, Enciso 9, Manuel 9, Pascual 8, Casio 5, Exciminiano 5, Baclao 4, Cruz 3, Galliguez 3, Hontiveros 2, Mendoza 2, Racal 0

Quarterscores: 29-23, 63-41, 92-61, 112-82

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