By Adrian Stewart Co
The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and Blackwater Elite each scored wins over the weekend in the 2019 Honda PBA Commissioner’s Cup; Rain or Shine won 89-82 over the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters, while the NLEX Road Warriors remain winless after losing 132-106 to Blackwater.
After Phoenix’s Richard Howell was ousted from the game, Denzel Bowles took advantage of the situation and led Rain or Shine from a 76-70 deficit to a 77-76 advantage with a two-pointer, triple, and inside hit with just over three minutes left in the game.
The Fuel Masters took the lead for the last time, pulling ahead 80-77 on a four-point play by Matthew Wright, before the Painters countered with a two-pointer from Mark Borboran, three-point play by Bowles, and triple by Rey Nambatac for an 86-80 edge.
The Fuel Masters made their final push while down 86-82 on an inside hit by Bacolodnon player Justin Chua before the Painters iced the victory for good on shots from Nambatac and Bowles.
Bowles finished with 28 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists, while Javee Mocon and Negrense player James Yap each added 15 markers.
Meanwhile, Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. led Blackwater with a career-high 29 points, followed by Alex Stepheson with a double-double on 21 points and 17 rebounds, and Allein Maliksi finishing with 21 points.
The Elite started strong and went up by as much as 16 points before NLEX ignited a strong third quarter run behind Cyrus Baguio to tie the count at 63-all.
Parks then spearheaded Elite with five straight points for a 71-63 lead. He again starred in a 10-0 blast as Blackwater extended their lead to as high as 132-102 on triples by Matt Salem and James Sena.
In the other game, the Alaska Aces cruised to its third consecutive victory following a 93-89 escape over the Meralco Bolts./ASC, WDJ