Guards take charge as Rain or Shine stamps class on Phoenix to break out of slump

Jewel Ponferada was one of seven ROS players in double figures. PBA Media Bureau

By Patrick Sutare

QUEZON CITY--Prior to the match against Rain or Shine, Phoenix head coach Louie Alas mentioned that he would expect the same type of play that NLEX -their last team to beat- instigates from coach Caloy Garcia and his wards.

That may be true but apparently this time, the Fuel Masters had to face a more resurgent ROS team that were looking to wake up from the slumber.

The Elasto Painters rediscovered their form as they outran and outgunned the hot-streaking Fuel Masters, 120-99, on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, arresting their slide to march back into the winning column of the PBA Philippine Cup.

The guards took care of business in dealing out the romp for the then struggling E-Painters.

Chris Tiu and Ed Daquioag went on to form an effective backcourt duo while Rey Nambatac and James Yap seemed to score with ease for their squad that is still missing the services of spitfire guard Jericho Cruz.

Now a designated starter, Tiu proved to be steady running the point. He poured in 17 points, four boards, seven assists and two steals in 28 minutes.

The sophomore Daquioag, meanwhile, had a field day puncturing the defense of the Phoenix guards. He exploded for 21 points behind 70 percent shooting in 22 minutes before suffering a suspected back injury early in the third frame that sidelined him for the rest of the game.

The former Letran star and rookie Nambatac, on the other hand, made the most out of his playing minutes to score in double figures as well with 11 in four of six shooting while Yap came out arresting his personal scoring slump as he erupted for 20 markers built around four triples and an efficient 80 percent shooting clip.

The Elasto Painters quickly detonated, turning up the heat as they emerged like a house on fire right after tip.

They kept the Fuel Masters to just a singe-digit score for almost 11 minutes to start the game while lording it over offensively that had them tripling the latter’s output after one, 39-13.

The then streaking Phoenix doubled up on defense in the next frame and chopped the deficit at halftime, 57-40.

But ROS was nothing short of driven to deliver a rousing win. They stepped on the accelerator anew to lead by as much as 39 in the second half and left Phoenix out in the dust.

Jason Perkins and Matthew Wright led the way for Phoenix with 17 points each. Gelo Alolino added 12 while Jeff Chan and Karl Dehesa each chipped in 11 as the Fuel Masters fell to a 2-2 slate in the conference.

The scores:

RAIN OR SHINE 120 - Daquioag 21, Yap 20, Maiquez 18, Tiu 17, Nambatac 11, Ponferada 10, Ahanmisi 10, Borboran 4, Norwood 4, Trollano 3, Matias 0.

PHOENIX 99 - Wright 17, Perkins 17, Alolino 12, Chan 11, Dehesa 11, Intal 10, Eriobu 7, Kramer 5, Jazul 5, Wilson 2, Mendoza 2, Chua 0, Revilla 0.

Quarters: 39-13, 57-40, 98-67, 120-99

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