RAIN or Shine survived a fourth quarter meltdown and a spirited Talk `N Text rally to carve out a 103-99 victory and clinch at least a playoff berth for the last twice-to-beat incentive in the PBA Governors Cup Wednesday night at the Astrodome.
The Elasto Painters led by as many as 19 points in the first half and was ahead, 86-75 entering the fourth period when the Tropang Texters suddenly launched a crippling 17-0 bomb to take a 92-86 lead.
Both teams then engaged in a nip-and-tuck affair until Rain or Shine import Arizona Reid came through with two unmolested layups inside the final minute as the Elasto Painters regained the upperhand, 100-96.
New Talk ‘N Text import Courtney Fells though converted on a corner triple off Jimmy Alapag’s inbound pass to make it 99-100 in the final 11.7 seconds.
But the Painters clinched the win by going 3-of-4 from the foul line courtesy of Gabe Norwood and Paul Lee.
“It was a hard win for us. We expected a hard game today against Talk ‘N Text,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, whose team closed out its elimination round schedule with a 5-4 record.
“We know it’s an important game for both of us, which is basically assuring for us a playoff for the top four slot,” he added.
The outspoken coach said the team used the game against the Talk `N Text as an opportunity to ease the pain of its controversial 100-101 loss to Barangay Ginebra last weekend.
Guiao said the loss took away Rain or Shine’s guaranteed twice-to-beat incentive with its win against Talk ‘N Text, relegating the team to a wait and see situation pending Alaska’s final game against Air21 this week.
“What’s in my mind if we won that (Ginebra) game is we could have been assured of a top four slot. But that’s (top four) what’s taken away from us. We can’t do anything with it now,” he said.
“Winning this game is something we need to accept. Then just wait and see what happens in the next few playing days.”
The loss pushed Talk ‘N Text on the brink of elimination for the first time since the 2009 Fiesta Conference when the franchise, then under coach Chot Reyes, was eliminated by Purefoods after losing in double overtime in the wild card phase.
The Tropang Texters currently shares the cellar with the Air21 Express at 2-6 apiece.
Rain or Shine (104) -- Reid 26, Quinahan 13, Cruz 12, Arana 10, Lee 8, Norwood 8, Tiu 7, Belga 7, Tang 4, Rodriguez 4, Chan 3, Ibanes 2, Matias 0.
Talk N' Text (102) -- Fells 28, Anthony 14, De Ocampo 14, Fonacier 9, Alapag 9, Castro 8, Peek 8, Ferriols 6, Aquino 3, Aban 2, Carey 1.
Quarterscores: 32-23; 61-49; 86-75; 104-102.