The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and NLEX Road Warriors emerged victorious in the three-day, four-team pocket tournament that tipped off Monday morning at The Upper Deck in Pasig.
Rain or Shine was tested by the Phoenix Fuel Masters in the first game but the Painters did enough to grab a 95-91 victory in overtime.
LA Revilla, one of the new recruits for Phoenix, had the chance to win the ball game in regulation as he was fouled on his way to the hoop with his team only down by a single point. However, the guard managed to make only the back end of his charities with three seconds remaining in the fourth.
Chris Tiu had a chance to win the game for the Painters but his three-point shot at the buzzer did not fall. The guard made up for this miss in the overtime period as the more seasoned Elasto Painters simply showed more poise. Tiu hit a big three with 45 seconds left to give them a 91-89 lead. The Painters banked on free throws from Maverick Ahanmisi and Ed Daquioag to secure the victory.
ROS played sans Raymond Almazan, Jay Washington, James Yap, Jireh Ibanes, and Jericho Cruz. Gabe Norwood was in uniform but did not see action as head coach Caloy Garcia wanted to give him more time to rest after his Gilas duties.
Tiu and big man Dexter Maiquez led ROS in scoring with 20 points apiece, Daquioag added 14 and Ahanmisi and Beau Belga both scored 12.
Former Elasto Painter Jeff Chan led Phoenix with 16 points but it was the stellar play of rookie Jason Perkins that turned heads as the former De La Salle forward got a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
In the second game, the NLEX Road Warriors came back from 12 points down to score a 106-100 victory over the Alaska Aces.
Coach Yeng Guiao’s wards used a big third quarter run to turn the game around as they score the Aces 35-21 before sailing on to a victory.
Without Sonny Thoss in the lineup for the Aces, the bigs of NLEX flexed their muscles in the shaded area. Rabeh Al-Hussaini led them with 21 points, Raul Soyud added 18 before foiling out, and Asi Taulava scored 12.
Fonso Gotladera, who was in and out of the active lineup for NLEX last season, gave a good account of himself with 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.
“We wanted to use this pocket tournament as a test,” said Guiao after the game. “Maybe we won’t be able to determine the four players that we have to cut from the three games here but maybe we can eliminate one or two to move closer to our final lineup.”
Alaska, on the other hand, was led by Calvin Abueva’s amazing stat line with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and 7 assists while JVee Casio and Vic Manuel combined for 25 points.
“We’re still not in the shape that we want to be in for the start of the season,” admitted Compton. “But we’re slowly getting there and this tournament will definitely help.”