Beau Belga PBA Rain or Shine

Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines-Taking all the opposition could offer on Sunday, Rain or Shine used its famed defense to the hilt to pull out a 79-77 decision over Converge and take the lid off the Philippine Basketball Association’s 47th season.

Leonard Santillan delivered 18 points and nine rebounds to help the Painters to an opening night victory while preserving the late-game heroics of teammates Beau Belga and Rey Nambatac.

The burly Belga finished with 17 points including a step-back triple with 14 ticks remaining to bring the Painters up, 78-77.

Rey Nambatac then figured in a crucial interception on a Jeron Teng pass, paving the way to a foul that sent Santillan to the charity stripe.

The FiberXers, using its youth and athleticism, was in control for the most part, and looked poised for what could’ve been a sensation arrival in the PBA.

Jeron Teng had 23 points while Alec Stockton had 13. RK Ilagan chipped in 10 more off the bench.

Rain or Shine, which is still missing playmaker Javee Mocon to contract negotiations, looks to get a streak going when it plays NorthPort at Ynares Center in Antipolo City this Thursday.

Converge, meanwhile, takes on Philippine Cup finalist Magnolia next. The two clubs battle this Friday also in the hilltop arena.

The Scores

Rain or Shine 79 – Santillan 18, Belga 17, Caracut 10, Torres 10, Nambatac 8, Nieto 8, Asistio 5, Norwood 3, Tolentino 0, Ponferada 0, Mamuyac 0, Ildefonso 0, Borboran 0.

Converge 77 – Teng 23, Stockton 13, Ilagan 10, Ambohot 7, Arana 6, Adamos 5, Hill 5, Digregorio 4, Bulanadi 2, Lojera 2, Tolomia 0, Racal 0.

Quarters: 16-19, 31-38, 57-55, 79-77.

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