MANILA – Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters claimed the last seat in the PBA Commissioner's Cup quarterfinals after beating the NLEX Road Warriors, 110-100, in their play-in game for the eighth seed on Sunday night at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The Elasto Painters pulled away within the final seven and a half minutes of the game, going on a 21-6 run to break an 87-all tie and eliminate the Road Warriors.
Ryan Pearson made 24 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and one steal, while Andrei Caracut added 19 points, seven rebounds, and three assists for ROS, which will face top-seeded Bay Area in the quarterfinals, which will begin on Wednesday.
The Dragons, armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, only need one win against the Elasto Painters to make the semifinals, and they can do so as soon as Friday.
NLEX's loss means all the three teams owned by Manny Pangilinan will miss the quarterfinals altogether for the first time ever.
Erring ref suspended
Meanwhile, Commissioner Willie Marcial announced earlier in the night that referee Peter Balao has been suspended for the rest of the conference.
While Marcial clarified that it was mainly due to the not-so-good-feedback he received recently during the regular referee assessment, the league sanctioned Balao heavily after he missed a crucial Marcio Lassiter backcourt violation during the San Miguel-Meralco game last Friday.
Lassiter stepped to the Beermen's own half while trying to pass the ball to Devon Scott, but Balao failed to call the infraction and Scott made two free throws that iced the game for them in a 113-108 win. (PNA)