The Fuel Masters were not given an opportunity to ignite as the Elastopainters snuffed out their air, forcing miss after miss en route to a lopsided 97 – 82 win for Rain or Shine.
Rain or Shine grabbed the lead early with Jeff Chan leading the charge from the outside, pouring it from three point territory to get the early 12-2 lead over Phoenix. But Mark Borboran together with Matthew Wright stoked the flames for Phoenix, getting as close as within 2 points off perimeter shots.
Matthew Wright continued to pace the offense of the Fuel Masters, scoring a team high 26 points for the game on 35 percent field goal percentage. Meanwhile Jericho Cruz exploded from down town hitting 5 of 9 three pointers, 3 of them coming in the 4th quarter, serving as the nails in the coffin of this game.
While Phoenix won the fastbreak battle, scoring 19 points off transition baskets compared to Rain or Shine’s 6, the Yeng Guiao system continues to pay dividends for the team he left behind, allowing Coach Caloy Garcia to reap the fruits of a roster with arguably the deepest bench in the PBA. The 2nd and 3rd string Elastopainters outscored the bench of Phoenix 56 to 29.
The depth came into full use for Rain or Shine especially in the second half when they broke away and built their biggest lead of 21 points. While the Fuel Masters tried to rally back in the fourth, their shots simply refused to drop, missing gimmes and easy layups, adding to their woes.
Jericho Cruz put an end to Phoenix’s hopes with three straight three pointers, putting the game out of reach and ending the night with player of the game honors.
The win puts Rain or Shine squarely in second place as they continue to fight for a twice-to-beat advantage. However, Phoenix Fuel Masters suffer a setback as they get thrust back into the middle of the pack with an even 4 and 4 record.