By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Phoenix Super LPG averted a disappointing meltdown to nip the Rain or Shine Elastopainters, 99-98, in the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup last November 18, 2023, held at the Ynares Center.
Holding a 46-26 lead midway through the second quarter, the Super LPG squad looked to blow the game wide-open but a stunning counter-run from the Elastopainters changed the complexion of the whole game.
From a 20-point deficit, Rain or Shine only needed five minutes to get back into the ball game after ending the second canto with a momentum-clinching 23-5 run to get within a deuce at the half, 51-49.
Rain or Shine then fought toe-to-toe with Phoenix in the first three minutes of action in the third quarter, equalizing the ball game at 55-all after several drained baskets from the shaded lane.
However, the Super LPG replicated its emphatic scoring run in the second quarter to build another double-digit lead midway through the third.
Rain or Shine refused to back down and drilled timely three-pointers to get back within striking distance that made the final frame interesting.
Phoenix looked to be in control after protecting a six-point lead, 96-90, with only 2:29 left in the intense ball game.
Just when the Super LPG thought they could run away with the victory, the Yeng Guiao-led Elastopainters shouldered another fight back to get within a point after a Leonard Santillan trey, 99-98.
Rain or Shine had one final chance to win the game after a completed defensive stop but the final scramble for the loose ball was picked up by Jason Perkins who just tossed the ball back to their court for the win.
Johnathan Williams led all scorers for Phoenix with 29 points and 18 rebounds while Perkins chipped in 14 markers.
On the other hand, the Elastopainters got 17 points from Santillan, 15 from Andrei Caracut, but only received 15 points from their import DaJuan Summers.