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Painters escape Tropang Giga to enter semis

MANILA, Philippines -- The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters are heading to the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals after squeaking past the TNT Tropang Giga in a wire-to-wire affair, 110-109, Wednesday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

With the win, Rain or Shine will be going on a collision course with defending champions San Miguel Beermen in the semifinals.

Gian Mamuyac made key plays in the final minute as he finished with a conference-high 25 points.

The Elasto Painters blew a 20-point lead as a triple by Calvin Oftana tied the game up at 98 in the fourth quarter.

Rain or Shine regained the lead with a trey by Andrei Caracut, 101-98.
The game went down the wire as the Tropang Giga trailed by just three, 100-103.

Oftana, though, had a crucial turnover as he lost the ball.

On the other end, Mamuyac danced with Glenn Khobuntin and made a dagger trey as Rain or Shine went up by six, 106-100.

Oftana committed another turnover in the next possession, with Mamuyac stealing the rock.

A split from the line by the former Ateneo Blue Eagle gave them a seven-point lead, 107-100.

Back-to-back treys by Williams provided TNT a fighting chance, but a pair of free throws by Gabe Norwood iced the game.

Williams then ended the game with a trey to set up the final score.

Jhonard Clarito backstopped Mamuyac with 17 markers. Santi Santillan added 15.

Williams turned back the clock with a vintage performance of 32 points and 14 rebounds in 40 minutes of play. Oftana added 27.