MANILA – Gabe Norwood came up with key plays down the stretch as the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters prevailed over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings, 83-80, in the 2019 Honda PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday at the Calasiao Sports Complex in Pangasinan.
The Gilas Pilipinas mainstay came up with back-to-back conversions to extend the Painters’ lead to 82-76 before coming up with a crucial block on LA Tenorio to keep the Kings at bay.
Norwood, who traced his roots from Calasiao, Pangasinan, finished the match with six points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block for the Painters, which improved to 2-0 win-loss slate.
Norbert Torres and Mark Borboran led the way with 12 markers apiece, while Maverick Ahanmisi chipped in 11 markers for the Painters, which tallied the win despite the absence of big man Raymond Almazan.
Trailing 60-63 after three quarters, the Painters started the fourth quarter strong behind Borboran and James Yap to take a 67-63 lead. The Kings cut the deficit to 69-68 but a three-point play by Painters rookie Javee Mocon extended the lead back to four.
The Kings came to within four twice but Norwood answered it with back-to-back hits to extend the Painters lead to 82-76. A split free throw by Joe Devance followed by an inside hit by Japeth Aguilar allowed Ginebra to come to within 79-82.
The Kings had a chance to pull even closer following a fast break try by Tenorio but it was blocked by Norwood. Borboran then came up with a free throw to seal the win for the Painters with 7.3 seconds left.
Aguilar and Gregory Slaughter finished with 19 and 15 points, respectively, while Tenorio and Earl Scottie Thompson had 12 markers apiece for the Kings, which dropped to 1-2 card./PN