|Kris Rosales set a career-high in the win. PBA Media Group|
By Ivan Saldajeno
QUEZON CITY—The Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters put an end to the Phoenix Fuel Masters’ unbeaten run in the PBA Philippine Cup with a 98-94 overtime win on Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
ROS squandered a chance to blast Phoenix in regulation but made up for it in the OT session to take the top spot in the team standings.
The E-Painters thought they were on the verge of handing the Fuel Masters their first loss after going on a 14-0 run late in the third quarter to open a 70-56 lead, but the latter went on a 9-0 run spilling to the fourth quarter to come to within five, 65-70.
ROS retained control of the game by holding Phoenix at bay midway through the fourth, but a 6-0 run by the latter trimmed the gap to just one, 79-78, with 3:41 left in regulation.
After an exchange of crucial baskets which ended in a Matt Wright triple with 47 seconds remaining, the Fuel Masters got a chance to tie the game as Calvin Abueva blocked Gabe Norwood’s jumper and got the rebound in the process.
That led to a Jason Perkins floater with only 12 seconds remaining in regulation for an 87-all tie.
The E-Painters had a chance to win it in regulation, but James Yap, who was struggling all game long, missed a long triple off the isolation just before the final buzzer.
The game remained tight for the first half of the extra period, but ROS had a chance to get some breathing room as after a Rey Nambatac layup to give the team a 94-92 lead, Doug Kramer lost the ball while getting the offensive rebound in the next Phoenix play.
Raymond Almazan made two free throws in the ensuing possession to give the E-Painters a 96-92 lead with 42 seconds left.
Alex Mallari kept the Fuel Masters in the game with a quick layup with 37 seconds left, but a huge teardrop from Mark Borboran as shotclock expired sealed the win for the E-Painters.
Beau Belga and Kris Rosales each chipped in 16 points for ROS, which is now number one in the table at 6-1.
Rosales actually posted a career-high in points, while Belga came close to a triple-double with nine rebounds and seven assists.
Perkins’ 27-point explosion went down the drain as Phoenix drops to second place at 5-1.
Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno