|Adrian Wong led the charge for the Elasto Painters off the bench. PBA Images|
MANILA--Rain Or Shine thought all it needed to get its third win of the PBA season was a third quarter stifling.
But eventually, it took another endgame heroics from Rey Nambatac to salvage his team's cause.
Nambatac drained two clutch free throws before the final horn as the Elasto Painters escaped with a 70-68 win over the NorthPort Batang Pier on Sunday night at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
The spitfire combo guard made his charities with 1.3 seconds left as ROS survived a resilient stand from NorthPort despite an infamous third quarter stint.
The Elasto Painters held the Batang Pier to just two points, a field goal from Sean Anthony with 6:20 remaining, in the third quarter and were on pace for a blowout win after taking a 63-52 lead with 5:17 left in the fourth.
NorthPort, however, recovered and came close to forcing overtime after a short jumper from Chris Standhardinger tied the game up at 68 apiece with 3.3 seconds to play.
But Paolo Taha fouled Nambatac while going for a tough game-winner, and the latter gave ROS the lead anew with his pair of free throws.
The team's defense went to work in the end as it forced Sean Manganti to a wild attempt from three-point range, which was blocked by Javee Mocon as time expired.
Nambatac somehow struggled all game long, only making 2-of-9 from the field, but he compensated for it with his crisp free throw shooting capped by his winning charities as he finished with 10 points, six rebounds, six assists, and one steal for the Elasto Painters, who moved up to 3-0, tying the TNT Tropang Giga at the top of the standings.
Rookie Adrian Wong was the high-point man for ROS with 15 markers alongside two rebounds, two assists, and one steal off the bench.
Anthony, Standhardinger, and Garvo Lanete each tallied 13 markers for NorthPort, which slid to 0-3, tying NLEX at the cellar.
Rain Or Shine 70-Wong 15, Onwubere 11, Nambatac 10, Mocon 6, Doliguez 6, Belga 5, Torres 5, Yap 5, Arana 3, Norwood 2, Ponferada 2, Rosales 0, Rivero 0, Borboran 0
NorthPort 68-Anthony 13, Standhardinger 13, Lanete 13, Nabong 10, Revilla 7, Taha 4, Manganti 3, Cruz 3, Elorde 2, Subido 0, Guinto 0
Quarterscores: 14-25, 32-38, 46-40, 70-68
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