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Rain or Shine downs Blackwater

Rain or Shine got big contributions from unlikely sources to make up for the absence of its key players and finally crack the win column in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.

Behind new import Greg Smith and the step-up performances of Nick Demusis and Shawn Ildefonso, the Elasto Painters outlasted Blackwater, 122-117.

In snapping their four-game losing start, the Elasto Painters got a new lease in life and much of the credit should be given to Smith, who came in to take over the spot of Michael Qualls.

Smith, who was considered by Rain or Shine as import as early as seven years ago, finished with 38 points, six rebounds and five assists.

The Elasto Painters played minus injured players Gian Mamuyac and Mark Borboran, but they got timely hits from Leonard Santillan as well as Demusis and Ildefonso, two players who served as spark plugs coming off the bench.

After missing a couple of games due to a sprained ankle, Santillan had his best game of the tournament, tallying 16 points and seven boards.

Demusis and Ildefonso each came up with 12 points apiece, the same output produced by veteran center Beau Belga.

Troy Williams, the highly-touted National Basketball Association veteran, had another explosive game, ending up with 40 points for Blackwater, but he got checked by Demusis and Gabe Norwood, who came up with big stops against the import.

“I’ve talked to Greg before he came in. We know that imports are gonna have to score, but it would be easier for us to win if we’ll involve the locals,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

“We know our locals can make contributions. We’re getting there and this is a good start.”

The Elasto Painters picked up 19 second chance points, seven more than their rivals, which helped them in getting back into the game after being down by as many as 10 points at one stretch, 43-53.

The Scores:
RAIN OR SHINE (122) — Smith 38, Santillan 16, Demusis 12, Belga 12, Ildefonso 12, Nambatac 9, Asistio 7, Clarito 5, Ponferrada 4, Norwood 4, Caracut 3, Torres 0, Yap 0.
BLACKWATER (117) — Williams 40, Sena 15, Hill 14, McCarthy 10, Ilagan 8, Ular 7, Casio 5, Amer 5, Ayonayon 4, Banal 3, Suerte 3, Taha 2, Torralba 0.
QUARTERS: 34-31, 66-67, 87-95, 122-117.

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