Mike Nieto made an impressive PBA debut with a team-high 21 points for Rain or Shine against NorthPort, 104-90, on Saturday in the Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

/ 13 February 2022

Nieto hardly showed any rookie jitters after firing 21 points alongside 8 rebounds in his PBA debut as the Elasto Painters snapped a two-game skid. 

Import Henry Walker was also instrumental with a triple-double of 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists to help Rain or Shine improve to an even 3-3 record. 

In the second quarter, the Elasto Painters drilled five three-pointers to extend their lead to double digits, 51-40, before going into the break. 

The Batang Pier came close with the Rain or Shine but a jumper by Nieto sparked a 16-0 run to turn a 60-58 lead into a 76-58 advantage, the biggest in the game.

Norbert Torres added 12 points, six rebounds, and two steals off the bench, Anton Asistio chipped in 11 points, while Gabe Norwood nailed 10 points and five rebounds.

The Batang Pier suffered their fifth consecutive defeat as they badly missed the services of star Robert Bolick, big man Greg Slaughter, and point guard Nico Elorde.

Bolick just signed with NorthPort on Friday, while Slaughter and Elorde have yet to ink deals with the team

Former NBA player Jamel Artis steered Northport with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists in his PBA debut, while Kevin Ferrer also had 23 points in the loss.

The Scores

Rain or Shine 104 – Nieto 21, Walker 17, Torres 12, Asistio 11, Norwood 10, Mocon 8, Caracut 7, Ponferada 5, Borboran 4, Santillan 4, Belga 3, Jackson 2, Guinto 0, Tolentino 0.

NorthPort 90 – Artis 23, Ferrer 23, Malonzo 13, Santos 11, Sumang 6, Rike 5, Balanza 3, Taha 3, Doliguez 2, Cruz 1, Abundo 0, Subido 0, Dumapig 0.

Quarters: 25-22, 51-40, 79-64, 104-90.