(The Philippine Star) – October 19, 2020 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — Rain or Shine outsteadied NorthPort in a grind-out affair between misfiring teams, 70-68, to grab a share of the PBA Philippine Cup lead with TNT yesterday at AUF Sports Arena Powered by Smart 5G.
Rey Nambatac sank two free throws with 1.3 seconds left as the E-Painters survived a woeful 29.7 percent shooting (22-of-74) and picked up their third consecutive win to tie the Tropang Giga at the top.
The luckless Batang Pier, who recovered from a record-tying two-point output in the third quarter to close the gap in the dying seconds, slipped to 0-3.
“Today was really an ugly win for us. I wanted a better game, a better production from everybody and I think we can do better than this,” said ROS coach Caloy Garcia.
“Maybe playing our third consecutive game since Tuesday took its toll on the players. Hopefully we get some rest and try to get everybody back to being 100 percent in our next game on Thursday,” he added.
ROS’ clip was the lowest for a winning team since Alaska’s 28.6 percent in a 66-63 victory over San Miguel in the 2015 Philippine Cup.
Garcia got the best production from unlikely sources against the 11-man NorthPort side with rookie Adrian Wong and Sidney Onwubere leading the way with 15 and 11, respectively.
The duo were at the forefront when the E-Painters launched a counterpunch en route to a fresh 66-56 spread after NorthPort forced them to a 48-48 standoff.
The Batang Pier made one final stand in the last three minutes of play but Nambatac was there to bail the E-Painters out of trouble.