MANILA, Philippines – Taking on all opponents Sunday, Rain or Shine used its famous defense to reverse the 79-77 decision on the Converse and lift the cover from the Philippine Basketball Association’s 47th season.
Leonard Santillan awarded 18 points and nine rebounds to help the Painters win an opening night and defend the late play heroism of teammates Beau Belga and Ray Nambatak.
Barley Belga finished with 17 points with a step-back triple with 14 ticks left over the Painters, 78-77.
Ray Nambatak then fell into a major hurdle in the Jeron Teng pass, paving the way for a foul that sent Santillan into the charity strip.
FiberXers, using his youth and athleticism, were in control for the most part, and were ready for what could be a sensitive arrival at the PBA.
Geron Tenge had 23 points and Alec Stockton had 13 points. RK Elagan took 10 more points from the bench.
Rain or Shine, who is still missing playmaker Xavi Mokon for the contract, appears to be getting a streak while playing Northport at the Yanares Center in Antipolo City this Thursday.
Converse, meanwhile, will next face Philippine Cup finalist Magnolia. This Friday too, the two clubs are fighting at the top of the hill.
Rain or Shine 79 – Santilan 18, Belgian 17, Karakat 10, Torres 10, Nambatak 8, Nito 8, Assisto 5, Norwood 3, Talentino 0, Ponferada 0, Mamuak 0, Ildefenso 0, Borboran
Converse 77 – Teng 23, Stockton 13, Ilagan 10, Ambot 7, Arana 6, Adamos 5, Hill 5, Degregorio 4, Bulanadi 2, Lojera 2, Tolomia 0, Rakal 0.
Quarters: 16-19, 31-38, 57-55, 79-77.
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