By Peter Atencio
Import Ryan Pearson canned in 19 points for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, who eliminated the NLEX Road Warriors in a 110-100 victory to earn the last seat in the quarterfinals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday night at the Philsports Arena.
Pearson got a lift from Andrei Caracut, Gian Mamuyac and Mike Nieto in the third period as the Elasto Painters kept a steady pace in the second half en route to the win that earned them a place in the quarterfinals against the Bay Area Dragons, who have a twice-to-beat advantage.
Pearson had six points with Caracut and Mamuyac in the third period, while Nieto added five to help Rain or Shine move ahead, 80-75, at the end of the quarter.
After the Road Warriors tied the count at 87-all in the last period, Mamuyac and Pearson touched off a decisive 9-0 run which allowed ROS to take command, 96-87, in the last 4:38.
Coach Yeng Guiao said the game was a learning experience for the young players of the team.
“Natuto kami. There are young guys in the team. ‘Yung hindi namin nagawa sa Magnolia game, nagawa namin ngayon,” said Guiao, who interestingly eliminated his former team, the last of the Manny V. Pangilinan squads in contention.
Meralco and TNT also failed to advance.
Rain or Shine is in the playoffs for the first time since last year’s Philippine Cup bubble in Bacolor, under comebacking coach Guiao.
Earl Clark topscored with 37 points for the Road Warriors, while Don Trollano fired 15 points.