RAIN or Shine wielded sheer will to overcome adversity as it turned back Talk ‘N Text, 101-93, in Game Six on Sunday to send the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals to a deciding game.
Raymond Almazan recovered from a poor performance with a double-double of 18 points and 10 boards, while Paul Lee delivered as usual despite being banged up once again as both locals stood out and ably supported import Wayne Chism.
Jeff Chan, on the other hand, delivered the inspiration.
Declared out for the series due to a plantar fasciitis injury, the star gunner pleaded with his coach to use him and made the most of it by churning out 11 points in 11 minutes.
“The guys really wanted to win this,” Painters coach Yeng Guiao said. “We played a lot better defense than last time.”
Their defense was none more evident than on TNT import Ivan Johnson, who was held to six points on 2-of-9 shooting in 32 minutes.
The Painters also limited the Texters to their second-lowest field-goal shooting this series at 40 percent (32-of-80).
Game Seven is on Wednesday, also at the Big Dome.
Lee, already nursing a sprained ankle and wearing a denture to protect his busted front teeth, was hit in the thigh, neck, and face this time, but still finished with 16 points, five assists, three steals, two rebounds, and one block in 33 minutes off the bench.
Chism came up with another workmanlike effort of 24 boards, 18 points, two blocks, two assists, and one steal. The American big man also hit four free throws in the endgame, negating a bad pass down the stretch that almost proved costly for the Painters.
Ranidel de Ocampo tallied 21 points, but had to take 15 shots to reach his total, while Jayson Castro added 17 markers and eight assists for the Texters, who drew solid offensive contribution from defensive stalwarts Jay Washington and Harvey Carey.
TNT actually went off to a great start, scoring the game’s first eight points before the Painters clamped down to turn the game around.
Rain or Shine 101 – Almazan 18, Chism 18, Lee 16, Chan 11, Cruz Jericho 10, Quinahan 9, Tiu 7, Norwood 6, Ibanes 3, Arana 3, Uyloan 0, Belga 0
Talk 'N Text 93 – De Ocampo 21 Castro 17, Washington 14, Carey 13, Fonacier 11, Johnson 6, Alas 4, Williams 4, Rosser 3, Aban 0
Quarterscores: 23-18, 54-42, 76-71, 101-93