CLARK — Rain or Shine joins the logjam on top as it blasted Terra Firma, 91-82, in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup Friday at the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) Arena powered by Smart 5G here.
Rey Nambatac was on target while Javee Mocon and veteran Gabe Norwood provided support for the well-balanced Elasto Painters, who punched their second straight win to gain a spot on top together with TNT Tropang Giga, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Phoenix Super LPG.
The Tropang Giga, however, could claim the solo lead pending the outcome of their battle against San Miguel Beer at press time.
A defensive-minded swingman from Letran College, Nambatac churned in 19 points with three three-pointers to spearhead the attack while Mocon and Norwood chipped in 14 markers apiece for the Elasto Painters.
Nambatac’s long trey from top of the key doused cold water on the Dyip’s searing rally to put the Elasto Painters out of reach, 85-76, entering the final 2:43 mark.
Veteran save day
Norwood sealed the win with a steal and four consecutive points.
“I think today, Rey was aggressive in scoring,” Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia said.
“During our last game, he was trying to feed his teammates. He’s a great player. He will surely end up like other superstars in the PBA. That’s what I’m seeing in him because he has the guts to take the big shots.”
Garcia said being on top in the early stretch of the conference gives them confidence against the heavyweights of the league.
“We are lucky that we are 2-0 now, but we cannot be complacent knowing that other teams are getting into shape,” he said.
“Coming into the next game, we just have to make some adjustments in our game.”
CJ Perez, meanwhile, knocked down 26 points while Juami Tiongson contributed 15 markers for Terra Firma, which absorbed its second straight loss.
Top rookie Roosevelt Adam was hardy a factor with only 10 points in 31 minutes of action.
Rain or Shine (91) — Nambatac 19, Mocon 14, Belga 14, Onwubere 8, Rosales 6, Norwood 4, Yap 4, Torres 4, Ponferrada 3, Wong 3, Borboran 2 , Tolentino 0 Terra Firma (82) — Perez 26, Tiongson 15, Khobuntin 12, Adams 10, Cahilig 7, Ramos 6, Camson 5, Celda 1, McCarthy 0, Faundo 0, Calvo 0, Gabayni 0, Agovida 0, Balagasay 0 Quarters: 19-16, 44-34, 66-58, 91-82.