The long layoff didn't seem to bother Rain or Shine one bit.
Coming off a three-week break, the Elasto Painters looked strong as ever and continued their red-hot play to eliminate the NorthPort Batang Pier, 91-85, during their 2019 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal match on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
During their preparations for the playoffs, the second-seeded Elasto Painters didn't let up in practice, knowing they could not take NorthPort lightly.
"Even during the All-Star break, our mindset was already towards the quarterfinals. We couldn't waste this opportunity. We worked hard for this," said Rey Nambatac.
Nambatac was instrumental in the victory for Rain or Shine, which booked the first semifinal slot. He shot four three-pointers on his way to 14 points to go with five rebounds and two assists.
Ed Daquioag and Beau Belga also played huge roles, combining for five triples and 28 points.
Rain or Shine did have a sluggish start, but it didn't take long before it blew away the cobwebs and got it going in the second period. The Elasto Painters outscored the Batang Pier, 29-16, in that quarter to establish a 43-33 buffer at halftime which they never relinquished.
However, NorthPort refused to just roll over and die. The Batang Pier had one final push, moving to within six points late in the game, but time wasn't on their side as Rain or Shine held on for the victory.
Mo Tautuaa and Garvo Lanete paced NorthPort with 24 and 20 points, respectively.
Rain or Shine 91 - Daquioag 15, Nambatac 14, Belga 13, Ponferrada 8, Norwood 8, Mocon 8, Yap 7, Ahanmisi 5, Torres 5, Borboran 4, Rosales 4, Alejandro 0, Onwubere 0, Maiquez 0.
NorthPort 85 - Tautuaa, Lanete 20, Grey 11, Pringle 9, Taha 7, Elorde 5, Bolick 5, Guinto 4, Sollano 0, Flores 0, Gabayni 0.
Quarterscores: 14-17, 43-33, 73-62, 91-85
- Sean Anthony didn't play for NorthPort because of a strained groin he sustained in their final elimination game against Ginebra.
- Javee Mocon turned 24 years old today. He finished with eight points, seven rebounds, and three assists.
- Chris Tiu, who retired just before the new season unveiled, watched the game.