July 19, 2018, 4:01 am
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E-Painters beat Kia, check skid

J’NATHAN Bullock did not exactly have a smashing debut, but still did enough in powering Rain or Shine to a 94-86 victory over freefalling Kia last night in the PBA Governors Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The muscle-bound replacement for JD Weatherspoon finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but missed 16 of his 23 shots, including eight of his 10 three-point attempts, and committed seven turnovers.

Good thing the likes of Chris Tiu and Beau Belga were there to provide the much-needed support as the Elasto Painters took control of the game in the closing minutes of the opening quarter before fully switching to high gear. 

Even new acquisitions Mark Borboran and Ed Daquioag contributed quality minutes as Rain or Shine snapped out of a two-game slide and now totes an even 2-2 slate while dealing hapless Kia a sixth loss in as many games.

With games against the likes of TNT, Star and San Miguel Beer coming up E-Painters coach Caloy Garcia knows his re-tooled team must iron out the kinks in its game. 

“We played sloppy in the second half, we turned the ball over a lot,” said Garcia whose team actually led by as much as 76-59, but still scrambled at the finish. 

“I think it’s basically chemistry, especially with the import,” continued Garcia, before adding: “Once he gets used (to PBA play) I think he’ll be okay.”

Markeith Cummings arrested his own sub-par performances of late by leading all scorers with 30 points on top of seven rebounds, but only LA Revilla, Jackson Corpuz and Jason Deutchman were able to backstop him with at least 10 points each.

Tiu wound up with 13 points and eight assists while Belga also came off the bench for 12 markers.

“Chris played a really good game today,” noted Garcia. “He dictated the tempo on our offense. I just hope he can keep it up.”
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