RAIN or Shine rediscovered its form just in time to deal Talk 'N Text a 104-89 hammering on Monday night and reach the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Elasto Painters lost to NLEX in its final elimination-round game and barely got by Blackwater in the first round of the quarterfinals, but they were clicking on all cylinders in the emphatic win against the Tropang Texters.
So good were the Elasto Painters in this game that they had seven players in double figures and opened leads as big as 19 points at 100-81 on a late run capped by a Don Trollano basket with 5:38 left.
The win enabled Rain or Shine to reach the semifinals for the eighth successive time - the longest active streak in the pro league, according to head statistician Fidel Mangonon III.
That set them up for a best-of-seven showdown with San Miguel Beer, the same team that beat the Elasto Painters in last year's finals of the PBA Governors' Cup conference.
"We wanted to quicken the pace, tire out their players," said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, who can be heard imploring his players to run at every opportunity.
The ploy worked.
The Tropang Texters stuck with the Elasto Painters for two quarters but soon faded in the third, falling behind by 14 points, 69-83, after Gabe Norwood found his touch from the outside.
Rain or Shine never eased up on the pedal from there, as rookies Maverick Ahanmisi and Trollano joined the scoring parade while Talk 'N Text lost in-form Troy Rosario to an apparent shoulder injury.
Raymond Almazan led Rain or Shine with 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Trollano finished with 14 points while Jeff Chan added 13 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Jayson Castro scored 25 points to lead Talk 'N Text.
Rain or Shine 104 - Almazan 15, Trollano 14, Chan 13, Cruz 11, Norwood 11, Quinahan 11, Ahanmisi 10, Ponferada 8, Belga 6, Tiu 5, Ibanes 0.
TNT 89 - Castro 25, Tautuaa 14, Aban 11, Reyes R. 10, Rosario 10, Seigle 10, Williams 5, Reyes J. 2, Fonacier 1, Rosser 1, Ababou 0, Carey 0, Miranda 0.
Quarterscores: 26-20, 52-44, 84-75, 104-89