The 32-year-old had earlier taken a share of the opening round lead but slipped a spot down after carding a 72 on Friday.
The Spaniard however, responded well by compiling a three-day total of 13-under-par 203 to stay ahead of the chasing pack by two shots at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.
American David Lipsky, who finished second at the Maybank Championship in 2017, made his move by signing for a 67 to take second place on his own. Australia’s Scott Hend and Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond are bunched in third place together with Maximillian Kieffer of Germany.
Hend, a nine-time Asian Tour winner, is seeking his first win since 2016 while Jazz is chasing his fourth Asian Tour victory and second in three months, as they both head into the final round, three shots back of Elvira.
Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman enjoy his best round of the week so far by carding a 68 to move inside the top-10 to take a share of ninth place that also includes South Africa’s Louis De Jager and the English pair of Andy Sullivan and Ross Fisher.