All-Filipino ROS embarrasses Dyip after Santillan game-winner in import-laced conference

Leonard Santillan became the hero of Rain or Shine (PBA Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Despite an All-Filipino lineup against an import-boosted Terrafirma Dyip team, the Rain or Shine Elastopainters still pulled off the stunning victory after a Leonard Santillan game-winner, 120-118, in the ongoing PBA Governor’s Cup last February 16, 2023.

With 12 seconds left and the game deadlocked at 118-all, the Elastopainters read Terrafirma’s defense well and located a wide-open Santillan underneath the basket for the game-winning layup.

It was an unfortunate turn of events for the Dyip after they gambled for a hard double-team on Rey Nambatac at the left elbow with only three seconds left in the ball game.

As the defense collapsed after the double, Nambatac was able to dish out a bounce pass to Santillan who had no cover at all after Dyip’s import Jordan Williams chose to run at Beau Belga who was also open from the three-point line.

The Elastopainters nearly gave up the lead they took care of since shooting the ball well in the opening period after Terrafirma roared back in the final canto courtesy of an unconscious Williams.

Williams single-handedly brought back Terrafirma into the game and scored all of his six isolation possessions in the fourth quarter.

Rain or Shine’s 113-105 lead with three minutes remaining in the game suddenly evaporated after Williams converted a coast-to-coast layup off a turnover from the Elastopainters.

Nambatac restored order for Rain or Shine after cashing in all of his shots from the charity stripe that gave them a 118-116 lead with 36 seconds left.

However, the Dyip responded once again after Williams blew by Gabe Norwood at the top of the key and soared for an acrobatic layup that equalized the game at 118-all.

The remaining time then saw Rain or Shine escape Terrafirma after Santillan’s game-winner. The Dyip had one last look to tie or win the game with 0.7 seconds left but Williams couldn’t play hero ball anymore and badly missed his three-point attempt.

Santillan played his heart out during the big-time win and finished the ball game with 21 points and six rebounds.

Meanwhile, young guard Andrei Caracut top-scored for the Elastopainters built from a fiery first quarter scoring avalanche with 25 points.

With the win, Rain or Shine just picked up its second-straight victory and is pretty much in the playoff race after improving to the eighth spot in the Governor’s Cup.