Joel Wright had four fouls before halftime, which slowed him down in the last two quarters, but he still came up big for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in their 96-90 win over Columbian Dyip in the PBA Governors' Cup on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Scoreless in the third period, Wright took charge in the final 70 seconds, dropping seven straight points to give Rain or Shine enough buffer to come out with its first victory in the season-ending conference.
The late outburst was part of a 30-point and 10-rebound performance for Wright.
"It's a good win for us. We were disappointed with how we played the last game, so I told the players the only way that we can come back is to win today's game," said Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia, whose team clawed back from a 20-point deficit only to fall short against the Batang Pier in the opener last Friday.
"We know every game's gonna be important. You can see every team in this league right now is hard to compete with. So you just have to come out and play hard every game."
With Wright hounded by foul trouble, Rain or Shine turned to its bench, which scored 45 points in the nip-and-tuck contest.
Rey Nambatac, who also hit some key baskets to keep the team afloat, finished with 17 points while Javee Mocon, Mark Borboran, and Ed Daquioag combined for 27 markers.
"The good thing about today was the bench stepped up. Mark, Ed, and Ping (Exciminiano) played great today," Garcia said. "We just have to learn from our mistakes, especially on our turnovers."
Columbian Dyip import Khapri Alston paced the team with 23 points and 15 rebounds. CJ Perez added 22 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and two steals for the Dyip, who were coming off a resounding win against Alaska last Friday.
Rain or Shine 96 - Wright 30, Nambatac 17, Exciminiano 10, Mocon 10, Borboran 9, Daquioag 8, Torres 7, Norwood 2, Rosales 2, Ponferada 1, Onwubere 0, Yap 0, Belga 0.
Columbian 90 - Alston 23, Perez 22, Khobuntin 14, Tiongson 10, McCarthy 9, Cahilig 5, Camson 3, Calvo 2, Flores 2, Celda 0, Reyes 0, Gabriel 0, Faundo 0, Gabayni 0.
Quarterscores: 23-14, 44-44, 66-63, 96-90.
- Alston was also saddled by foul trouble. He got his fifth with still 3:17 in the third quarter and returned to the game with nine minutes left in the game.
- Gabe Norwood secured the most important rebound of the game after Wright missed his second free throw with 8.9 ticks remaining. Norwood's board led to Daquioag's free throws that sealed the game.
Rain or Shine - vs TNT on September 28 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum
Columbian - vs NorthPort on October 2 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum