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ROS continues late dash to PBA PH Cup playoffs, sends Terrafirma to brink of winless conference

Andrei Caracut helped Rain Or Shine make up for Gabe Norwood and Beau Belga's absence. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Rain Or Shine's last ditch to qualify for the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals got a major boost on Saturday night after whipping Terrafirma, 97-82, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

The Elasto Painters banked on a furious first half before successfully holding off the still winless Dyip in the endgame.

ROS was unstoppable in the first half despite missing its two star veterans, Beau Belga and Gabe Norwood, due to the league's COVID-19 protocols, racing to a 59-33 lead at halftime.

Terrafirma, two nights after pushing San Miguel to the limit, threatened to pull a comeback, cutting the lead down to as low as 11, 84-73, with 6:27 remaining in the game.

However, a layup from Rey Nambatac and seven consecutive points from Norbert Torres were the highlights of the Elasto Painters' game-deciding 9-1 run that sealed the contest.

Andrei Caracut and Anton Asistio each scored 14 points to lead ROS, which has now won three straight games to take solo ninth place in the team standings at 4-6.

The team needs to beat Magnolia on Wednesday night and hope that Converge, which is playing Phoenix later Saturday, and NorthPort lose all their remaining games to sneak into the quarterfinals outright.

Aldrech Ramos paced Terrafirma, which is now in trouble of finishing the Philippine Cup without any single victory, with 21 points and nine rebounds off the bench.

Pao Javelona made his PBA comeback for Terrafirma and tallied three points, four rebounds, and three steals in nearly 24 minutes off the bench.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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