Motivated to rebound from his underwhelming debut, J’Nathan Bullock responded to coach Caloy Garcia’s demands to lead Rain or Shine to a 105-73 blowout of TNT Sunday in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 30-year-old reinforcement made sure the Elasto Painters didn’t make a mistake tapping him as replacement, as he posted 20 points, 14 rebounds, and three assists in the win.
But it wasn’t just him. The locals also hit their mark as Rain or Shine shot 16 three-pointers to rise to a 3-2 card.
Finishing the game strong, Jericho Cruz poured in eight of his 14 markers in the fourth period, alongside five boards and five assists.
Jewel Ponferrada chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds, while Mark Borboran got 11 for the Elasto Painters.
“Everybody seemed to be on the same page today and that’s why we played well,” said coach Caloy Garcia. “Basically, everybody stepped up in today’s game.”
Beau Belga also was a positive influence for his team this time out, doing the dirty work with five points, 10 rebounds, and three assists to bounce back after being ejected in Rain or Shine’s last game against Kia.
The Elasto Painters stepped on the gas pedal early, jumping to a 27-11 lead in the first quarter to set the tone for the whole game. They led by as much as 28, 62-34, courtesy of a Maverick Ahanmisi jumper at the 8:28 mark of the third quarter.
Debuting import Glen Rice Jr. woke the KaTropa up out of their slumber, chopping the lead down to 12, 66-54, after an RR Garcia free throw with 3:46 left in the period, but a pair of Chris Tiu treys followed by another triple from Mark Borboran restored order for Rain or Shine and brought the lead back up to 20, 77-57.
With the absence of its national team players, the KaTropa couldn’t keep up with the hot-shooting Elasto Painters and shot only 28 percent from the field.
Rice scored 19 points that went with eight rebounds, and three assists in his first game with the KaTropa, as he struggled to draw support from his locals.
Ranidel de Ocampo and Levi Hernandez wound up with 11 points for TNT.
RAIN OR SHINE 105 – Bullock 20, Cruz 14, Ponferrada 12, Borboran 11, Yap 10, Ahanmisi 9, Trollano 7, Tiu 6, Belga 5, Robles 4, King 3, Matias 2, Daquioag 2, Maiquez 0.
TNT 73 – Rice Jr. 19, De Ocampo 11, Hernandez 11, Williams 8, Lingganay 6, Tautuaa 5, Garcia 4, Reyes 3, Nuyles 3, Tamsi 2, Carey 1, Golla 0.
Quarters: 30-14, 49-32, 77-58, 105-73.