|James Yap regained his vintage touch just when the Elasto Painters needed to. PBA Images|
MANILA--The PBA quarterfinals are now set.
Rain Or Shine booked the last seat in the Elite 8 round after tripping playoff-bound TNT, 80-74, on Tuesday night at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
The Elasto Painters survived a comeback from the Tropang Giga and scored the game's last six points to steal the win.
ROS was on track of pulling away after opening a 67-57 lead at the end of the third quarter.
However, TNT went on a 15-5 run within the first 10 minutes of the fourth canto to force a 72-all tie.
Javee Mocon put the Elasto Painters back ahead with two free throws with 1:28 to play, but Poy Erram converted on a jumper of his own to knot the match anew at 74 apiece with less than a minute to go.
Troy Rosario fouled Norbert Torres, giving the latter a chance to put ROS back on top, which he did through a split from the foul line.
Rosario tried to redeem himself from the foul, but he missed a triple that could have given TNT the lead anew and Kris Rosales converted a fastbreak layup to up the lead to three, 77-74, with 36 seconds remaining.
Rosario once again committed a crucial error after he was called for an offensive foul, leaving him with no choice but to give up his sixth foul on Mocon just to stop the clock.
Mocon finished the job by making three straight free throws to ice the game.
Mocon and James Yap each scored 16 points for the Elasto Painters, who now need to beat the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Wednesday night in hopes of sneaking into the Top 4, which will merit a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Mocon finished with a double-double as he too grabbed 10 rebounds.
Rosario had 18 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks, while Erram added 14 markers, 13 boards, and one steal for the Tropang Giga, who now need to look at the results of the remaining games to determine if they will still get a quarterfinal bonus despite falling to 7-4.
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