ANTIPOLO -- Rain or Shine leaned on Raymond Almazan in overtime to hammer out a rousing 123-119 win over a depleted San Miguel Beermen squad in the 2018 Honda PBA Commissioner's Cup on Sunday at the Ynares Sports Center.
Almazan scored all but three of Rain or Shine's points in the extra period as the Elasto Painters grabbed the top spot with a 4-1 record while keeping the Beermen winless in their first two matches.
Gabe Norwood opened up the scoring in the final five minutes with a booming 3-pointer before the lanky forward added four points in three trips to the foul line and a reverse layup to give Rain or Shine a 121-115 buffer with 1:06 remaining.
Almazan finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds, but it was Reggie Johnson who led the scoring for Rain or Shine with 27 points to go with 19 boards, four assists, and a pair of blocks.
Maverick Ahanmisi and Chris Tiu had 16 points each. Norwood shot three 3s on his way to 15 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.
"Well, it's a hard-earned win for us. I thought we had a good start, we were able to build a good lead," said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia. "Then the second group came in and we kind of got lost on offense."
Playing without import Troy Gillenwater in the last 31 minutes of action, the Beermen did everything it could to force an overtime but their shooting turned sour when the chips were down.
The Beermen had to field an all-Filipino lineup from the 2:29 mark of the second period up to the final horn as Gillenwater got ejected for "physically contacting an official."
It also didn't help that reigning four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo fouled out with 51.3 ticks remaining. Santos followed suit with less than a minute to go in overtime after being called for his sixth foul in an attempt to swat Almazan's hook shot.
The Beermen were actually up by as much as 17 points but the Elasto Painters chipped away at the lead behind Almazan and Tiu, who combined for 21 points in the third period.
Santos paced the Beermen with 29 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and five blocks. Fajardo added 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Christian Standhardinger had 17, 15 rebounds, and four assists.
RAIN OR SHINE 123 - Johnson 27, Almazan 25, Ahanmisi 16, Tiu 16, Norwood 15, Daquioag 7, Torres 5, Washington 5, Ponferada 4, Yap 3, Belga 0, Onwubere 0.
SAN MIGUEL 119 - Santos 29, Fajardo 26, Lassiter 18, Standhardinger 17, Cabagnot 14, Gillenwater 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Ross 2, Espinas 0.
Quarterscores: 30-23, 49-63, 84-90, 112-112, 123-119.
Troy Gillenwater got the boot with 2:29 left in the first half after bumping an official on his way to the bench. Commissioner Willie Marcial said "physically contacting an official" merits an automatic ejection.
The Beermen roared to a 22-2 run early in the second period to turn a nine-point deficit into a 45-34 lead.
It was the first time in three seasons that the Beermen found themselves in a 0-2 hole to start a conference.
Rain or Shine -- May 20 vs. GlobalPort at Smart Araneta Coliseum
San Miguel -- May 19 vs. Alaska in Dumaguete