IT was just a matter of Rain or Shine playing its best game in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Other than that, Talk `N Text big man Ranidel de Ocampo could not think of any plausible reason for the Tropang Texters’ 31-point loss to the Elasto Painters Sunday night.
The Tropang Texters dug themselves a deep hole early on, trailing 2-18 during the first six minutes of the game. They never made it back to the game and lost by a mile, 116-85.
De Ocampo refused to single out fatigue as the main culprit for the team’s anemic showing that came two days after posting an emotional 93-85 overtime win over Petron.
“Di naman (fatigue), though ako, hiningal din,” said De Ocampo, who finished with 13 points on a paltry 4-of-13 shooting from the field.
De Ocampo, who lost a close battle with teammate Jason Castro for the Best Player of the Conference award during the Philippine Cup, said the Tropang Texters didn’t yield even after trailing, 59-42 at the half.
It’s just that the Elasto Painters were playing an inspired game.
“Gumawa naman kami ng paraan eh, pero maganda lang talaga nilaro nila,” said De Ocampo.
“Akala namin pagdating ng second half, makakabawi pa. Nung halftime, sabi ni coach, ‘Sabihin niyo lang kung ayaw niyong maglaro.' Parang mino-motivate niya lang kami, pero wala rin, maganda talaga laro nila (Elasto Painters),” added the veteran Talk ‘N Text forward.
The Tropang Texters entered the game holding an immaculate 6-0 record over the Elasto Painters in their head-to-head match- up this season, including a four-game sweep of the Philippine Cup Finals.
But De Ocampo felt law of averages finally caught up with them as the Elasto Painters leaned on a strong start and sustained their effort all the way to the end..
“Siguro naman kung maka-straight kami ng napakatagal, syempre sila rin, gumagawa rin ng paraan para manalo. Ganyan lang talaga, dati kami ang maganda ang nilaro,” he said.
The defeat dropped Talk ‘N Text to a share of fourth to seventh places with San Mig Coffee, Air21 and Barang Ginebra, all with identical 5-5 records.