PBA: Rain or Shine escapes NLEX

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Rey Nambatac vs NLEX defenders. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Rain or Shine held on in the final seconds to deny NLEX, 83-82, in its opening game of the PBA Philippine Cup Friday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Beau Belga gave the Elasto Painters an 83-79 lead with 56 seconds left but Kiefer Ravena made it a one-point game with 19 seconds to play.

A Gabe Norwood turnover with 10 seconds remaining gave the Road Warriors one final life line but Anthony Semerad missed on a highly-contested jumper that could’ve won the game for NLEX.

“In practice we do a lot of situational where we work on that stuff and I’m really thankful for a guy like coach Mike [Buendia], he knew more than I that I would let him sit and that’s the level of trust we grew within the team,” said Painters head coach Chris Gavina.

“The guys really buy in, they believe in what we can do as coaches and we believe on what they can do as players.”

Rey Nambatac led Rain or Shine with 19 points and eight rebounds while Beau Belga 17 points, seven boards, and five assists.

Ravena had a game-high 23 points, on 5-of-8 shooting from deep, with seven assists and three steals to lead NLEX.

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