Last night, Rain or Shine pulled off an upset against the defending champions San Miguel, 87-83, during the Tuesday night action of the 2020 Philippine Cup of the 45th season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
The Elasto Painters got major boost from their two new main guns, Javee Mocon and Rey Nambatac.
The sophomore Mocon led the team as finished with 25 points in 77% shooting at the field, to go along with six rebounds and two assists.
The former San Beda University star caught fire right out of the gates as he started the game with a surprising 10-0 scoring barrage after Gabe Norwood opened the game with a three-pointer, catching the Beermen off guard.
Mocon finished the first quarter with 12 of his 25 points. He continued to have a stellar game all night long, until the fourth quarter rolled in and Nambatac took over the spotlight.
Unlike Mocon, however, the third-year guard from Letran had a dismal shooting night. He only scored one point and shot 0-6 at the field before hitting the biggest shot in the game.
With Rain or Shine leading, 82-78, with 29 seconds left in the game, Terrence Romeo drained a big three-pointer San Miguel to cut the lead down to one, 82-81, with 27 seconds left to play.
With momentum swinging towards the side of the Beermen, Nambatac’s killer instinct kicked in.
After Mocon fumbled the ball and lost it, Nambatac was able to recover and shot a moving three-pointer to give them an 85-81 lead and ice the game for good. He finished with only four points with seven rebounds and four assists.
Before the season started, the two was already being dubbed as a possible next “Fast and Furious” duo of the PBA because of their amazing game last season.
This season, they started their campaign with a showcase of what they can both do. Mocon with his efficient all-around game and Nambatac with his killer instinct and cold-blooded clutch plays down the stretch.
Although both are primed to lead this team, Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia recognizes that nothing is assured in the Bubble and they have to be on point as a team and stay healthy to reach greatness.
“It’s hard to say, in the bubble a lot of things could happen and I just want our team to be healthy. In a long run I think it would even help us go far, trying to get everybody’s legs back, there are still few players that are adjusting, so you never know, if we could adjust early, we’ll be different. Once we get that rhythm maybe we can go far,” said Garcia during the PBA media availability in the early morning.
The Elasto Painters will be back in action on Friday against the Terrafirma Dyip.
Meanwhile, the Wednesday action of the PBA will feature Alaska and Meralco going at it at 4:00 p.m. Followed by Magnolia and NLEX at the 6:45 p.m.