Rain or Shine’s journey in the 42nd William Jones Cup continues to be fraught with challenges as they suffered a heart-wrenching defeat against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a final score of 73-71 at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium on Monday, August 14.
The Elasto Painters, who had already endured tough losses against Chinese Taipei A and Chinese Taipei B in the tournament, once again found themselves on the wrong side of a nail-biting finish. Despite valiant efforts and clutch plays, Rain or Shine couldn’t break through, extending their losing streak to three games.
Nick Demusis emerged as a bright spot for Rain or Shine, contributing 12 points, three rebounds, and three steals. Demusis displayed his mettle in the game’s closing moments, trimming the deficit to 71-72 with a pair of crucial free throws and forcing a turnover on the ensuing play. However, the team’s hopes were dashed as Santi Santillan missed a potential go-ahead layup with just 15 seconds remaining on the clock.
Rain or Shine had another opportunity to turn the tide after Qais Alshabebi’s missed free throws. Still, a clutch offensive rebound from Alshabebi set the stage for Hamid Abdullateef Albreiki to secure the victory for UAE with a crucial free throw.
Albreiki proved to be a thorn in the side of the Elasto Painters, leading UAE with an impressive 22 points and six steals. Alshabebi’s contributions were equally impactful, recording 11 points, nine rebounds, and three steals. The victory marked UAE’s first in the tournament after suffering two consecutive losses.
Import Nick Evans tallied 12 points and four rebounds for Rain or Shine, while Anton Asistio chipped in with 9 points. Ange Kouame added 8 points and six rebounds to the effort, while Gian Mamuyac contributed 8 points and five assists. Despite their collective efforts, Rain or Shine’s valiant attempts fell short despite UAE’s determined performance.
The loss leaves Rain or Shine as one of the three winless teams in the competitive nine-team joust, highlighting their challenges in the tournament. With little time to rest, the Elasto Painters are gearing up for their fourth consecutive game, slated to face Qatar on Tuesday, August 15. As Rain or Shine looks to turn the tide and secure a much-needed victory, their resilience and determination remain unwavering as they continue to battle on the courts of the William Jones Cup.