The Elasto Painters remain ahead of the Alaska Aces (7-2) for No. 2 while holding the tiebreaker due to the winner over the other rule. They finish their schedule against the Mahindra Enforcers while Alaska still has to play the defending champion and league-leader San Miguel Beermen.
Meralco wrapped up their elimination round campaign with a 1-10 record.
Jared Dillinger led the Bolts with 15 points while rookies Baser Amer and Chris Newsome scored 13 and 12 respectively.
Jimmy Alapag had 10 points and four assists in the win.
Amer played well early in the game, hitting his all four of his shot attempts, including two three-pointers, to finish with 10 points in the first half.
The Bolts’ rookie point guard helped the team remain in front before his teammates closed the second quarter on a 10-3 run to break a 39-all deadlock and grab a 49-42 lead at the break.
Dillinger added nine points on 4-for-5 shooting for Meralco, which shot 56% from the field and 50% from three over the first two periods.
Almazan led Rain or Shine with eight points while Chan and Cruz each had seven markers.
Meralco managed to push its lead up to 10 points, 56-46, in the third period.
But Rain or Shine, leaning on veterans Chan, Gabe Norwood and Beau Belga, came right back with a 17-6 run that put them on top, 63-62. The trio combined to score all of the team’s points in that rally.
The teams exchanged the lead six times in the first five minutes of a closely-contested fourth quarter.
But the Elasto Painters got a little bit of separation after Chan answered a Jimmy Alapag three with one of his own and Almazan followed up a missed transition attempt while drawing a foul for a three-point play game match-up highlights and replay here .
That made it a seven-point game for Rain or Shine, 87-80, with 2:53 remaining.
Meralco’s Chris Newsome hit a three-pointer from the corner but Chan got a split from the line and Almazan again came up big, scoring on another putback in transition.
Chan drilled a three-pointer inside the final minute, 95-87, to all but seal the win.
Rain or Shine outscored Meralco, 30-21, in the fourth quarter.
The Final Boxscores Result:
Rain or Shine (97) – Chan 24, Almazan 21, Cruz 13, Belga 9, Norwood 8, Quinahan 5, Ponferada 4, Ahanmisi 4, Teng 3, Ibanes 2, Trollano 2, Matias 2, Tiu 0.
Meralco (87) – Dillinger 15, Amer 13, Newsome 12, Alapag 10, Nabong 9, Hodge 8, Hugnatan 8, Buenafe 7, Al-Hussaini 5, David 0, Faundo 0.
Quarterscores: 23-22, 42-49, 67-66, 97-87.