By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Games Wednesday (Digos, Davao del Sur)
7 p.m. – Mindanao vs Gilas Pilipinas
All hell broke loose last night before the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters managed to restore order.
ROS resumed its dominance amid a never-ending series of scuffles in turning back GlobalPort, 96-90, to grab solo lead in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Riding on the momentum of their 123-119 overtime win over the defending champion San Miguel Beermen last weekend, the Elasto Painters went on full throttle despite the Batang Pier’s persistent attempts to slow them down.
It was Rain or Shine’s fifth win in six outings, untangling itself from a logjam with TNT KaTropa and Alaska.
“Another victory for us. At least they remained focused even after that scuffle,” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia.
Garcia was referring to the commotion that ensued in the last 3:20 of the game following a loose ball that triggered some furious shoving between Maverick Ahanmisi and Kelly Nabong.
The two players were assessed fighting fouls and ejected. Technicals were also called on Bradwyn Guinto, Ryan Araña, Jay Washington and GlobalPort import Malcolm White for entering the court.
The mayhem escalated from a bloody incident earlier.
ROS guard Chris Tiu had suffered a bloody cut on the lip from an elbow by White, stirring up emotions from both sides.
White himself fell victim to a shoulder to the face courtesy of ROS center Raymond Almazan, apparently in retaliation for the hit on Tiu.
Burly Reginald Johnson, who spent most of the closing minutes jawing with White or stepping into the fray to separate protagonists, paced Rain or Shine with 18 points while hauling 16 rebounds and dishing off seven assists.
James Yap also finished with 14 points, including two important clutch free throws, while Ahanmisi chipped in 13 markers before getting tossed.
GlobalPort slipped to the middle standings with a 3-3 card.
RAIN OR SHINE 96 – Johnson 18, Yap 14, Ahanmisi 13, Almazan 12, Tiu 10, Ponferada 9, Daquioag 7, Belga 6, Norwood 5, Torres 2, Nambatac 0.
GLOBALPORT 90 – White 21, Pringle 15, Anthony 14, Nabong 13, Tautuaa 8, Elorde 8, Grey 4, Javelona 3, Sargent 2, Guinto 2, Araña 0, Teng 0.
Quarterscores: 26-30, 45-45, 67-62, 96-90.