The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters nabbed the solo lead in the league standings after escaping the Magnolia Hotshots in overtime, 99-96, in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters notched their sixth win in seven outings and moved closer to a quarterfinals entry.
Reggie Johnson led the charge with 23 points, 18 rebounds, and four assists, though he also committed seven turnovers. Raymond Almazan supplied 19 points and nine boards.
Paul Lee opened the extended period with a triple, but Gabe Norwood tied it again with a triple of his own. Beau Belga joined the three-point party and pushed Rain or Shine ahead, 94-91.
Debuting Magnolia import Curtis Kelly, who struggled from the free throw line all-game, hit a couple of free throws that made it a one-point game, 95-94. After Chris Tiu made an errant pass, Kelly had a chance to put the Hotshots on top but he lost the ball on his way to the basket.
Tiu made up for his earlier error by drilling four crucial freebies that sealed the victory.
Rain or Shine established a seven-point lead late in the fourth quarter, but Kelly and Rome Dela Rosa launched a run that brought Magnolia within two points. Jio Jalalon then scored a bucket to lock the score at 88-all with 38 seconds left.
The Elasto Painters had a couple of opportunities to return to the driver's seat but Norwood and Raymond Almazan missed their attempts. This left a window open for the Hotshots but they turned the ball over in the final possession of regulation.
"I just have to give it to the players in today's game. They really came out and played defense," said ROS coach Caloy Garcia. "I just asked them to play hard defense because we know that without (Ian) Sangalang, that their guards are the ones who are going to be doing lots of the scoring."
Magnolia's three-game streak was snapped by this loss that dropped them to a 3-2 slate.
Dela Rosa was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field en route to 19 points. Kelly also poured in 19 points, while Jalalon added 13.
Rain or Shine (99) - Johnson 23, Almazan 19, Norwood 12, Tiu 10, Ahanmisi 9, Belga 7, Yap 5, Torres 5, Daquioag 4, Ponferada 3, Nambatac 2, Onwubere 0
Magnolia (96) - Kelly 19, Dela Rosa 19, Jalalon 13, Lee 10, Ramos 7, Melton 6, Pascual 6, Reavis 4, Herndon 4, Simon 3, Brondial 3, Barroca 2 Quarter scores: 22-18, 46-50, 69-68, 88-88, 99-96 (OT)
- Rain or Shine won despite committing 25 miscues (compared to 14 of Magnolia), which led to 27 turnover points for the Hotshots.
- Magnolia big man Ian Sangalang was sidelined due to a fractured wrist.
- The Hotshots shot poorly from the free throw line, making only 12 of their 31 attempts.
Magnolia - June 6 (Wednesday) vs Blackwater Elite at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum
Rain or Shine - June 8 (Friday) vs Blackwater Elite at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum