|Rey Nambatac gave his best to lead the Elasto Painters to force a Game 4 of their Best-of-Five series with San Miguel Beermen at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. PBA Images|
By Xy-Zha Cabanlong
QUEZON CITY - Rain or Shine lived to fight another day in their PBA Commissioner's Cup semis series against San Miguel as they were able to walk away with a 112-104 win, Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
It was anybody's ball game in the last two minutes as the score was tied at 100-all.
Rey Nambatac converted two important free throws for Rain or Shine after a foul by June Mar Fajardo with 32 seconds remaining in the game, giving the Elasto Painters a 3-point lead; 107-104.
Wanting to finish the series at Game 3, the Beermen utilised a time out to set up a play and go to Chris McCullough to at least give way for a 1-point trail but the San Miguel import missed on the shot as he was blocked by Gabe Norwood.
Beau Belga scored the dagger triple from an assist by Nambatac to double the lead; 110-104 with only 11 seconds left in the ball game.
The massive triple killed the momentum on the part of the Beermen despite the effort of McCullough to at least trim the lead down to 3 with his attempt from beyond the arc.
Javee Mocon converted two free throw shots from a foul by Von Pessumal to tally in the final score.
"I'm just proud na hindi kami na-sweep ng powerhouse team. The players came out and played hard, Rey [and] our import played their best game. We hope that we can extend the series again and try to bring it to Game 5," said Coach Caloy Garcia after the game.
Carl Montgomery finished the game with 25 points, while Nambatac scored 22 points, 10 of which came from the third period alone.
McCullough topped all scorers with 51 points, a career-high for the San Miguel import, 24 of which came from the second quarter.
The semifinal series between the Elasto Painters and the Beermen will continue on Friday, still at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
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