Rain or Shine edges NorthPort, advances to semis

Rain or Shine edges NorthPort, advances to semis

Rey Nambatac picked up his game just as the pace picked up as well. PBA Media Group
By Xy-Zha Cabanlong

PASAY--Rain or Shine emerged as the better team in the first offering of the PBA Sunday quarterfinal doubleheader at the Mall of Asia Arena, eliminating NorthPort, 91-85.

Rey Nambatac stood up for the Elasto Painters to seal their spot in the semifinals at the expense of NorthPort.

His outside shooting proved to be the dagger as he made 4/6 from beyond the arc.

It was not an easy task for the Elasto Painters as NorthPort started out strong in the ball game, drawing first blood with a field goal by Mo Tautuaa after the tip-off. 

The Batang Pier ended the first quarter with them leading by three, 17-14.

Nambatac's first trey opened the second quarter and sparked a 5-0 run that gave the Elasto Painters the lead; 19-17.

Rain or Shine took advantage of Nambatac's hot hands and controlled the ball game from there on.

Batang Pier didn't give up sooner, trying treys on their own through the efforts of Jonathan Grey and Garvo Lanete to push NorthPort closer, 30-34 with 2:51 remaining in the second quarter. 

That was the closest they can get as the Elasto Painters sailed further, leading by as much as 10 points at the end of first half, 43-33.

Stanley Pringle opened the third quarter with a three pointer, but it was no match with the opponent's outside shooting prowess.

Ed Daquioag and Beau Belga each contributed three pointers for the Elasto Painters to extend their lead further.

Third quarter ended with a massive 73-62 lead by Rain or Shine.

The Elasto Painers continued on whipping the Batang Pier boys with shots beyond the arc.

However, North Port continued to fight back through earning free throws.

Fouls had also been the waterloo for NorthPort as Nico Elorde fouled out with 8:50 remaining in the ball game. 

Paolo Taha and Javee Mocon also caught up in a heated argument that both earned them technical fouls with 5:41 left to play.

With only 4:49 left in the game, Gabe Norwood made sure that his name is also in the list of those who threw daggers against Batang Pier from beyond the arc.

Fighting back even if there is still tomorrow for his team, Jonathan Grey puts his heart up on his sleeve by featuring in the last two sequence of play for North Port. 

One of which earned him a trip to the free throw line off a foul by Javee Mocon. 

Grey missed the second of the two foul shots only to pick up his own miss and score a triple with 1:27 to go to play.

Nambatac was named the best player of the game with 14 points.

Follow her on Twitter: @_ichbinxyzha

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