THREE-time champion Talk ‘N Text survived a searing Rain or Shine rally in the final period to carve out a 90-87 victory to vault into solo third spot in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ranidel de Ocampo nailed two crucial jumpers and a free throw, while Kelly Williams pulled off a crucial steal off Jeff Chan in the dying seconds to preserve the Texters’ fourth win in six starts in a game that saw them squander a 21-point first half lead.
“It’s a huge win for us mainly because Rain or Shine is a very good team,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black after the game.
Black said the nine-day respite since the team’s 91-95 loss to Barangay Ginebra gave them enough time to make the necessary adjustments against the rugged E-Painters, who turned to Gabe Norwood when it climbed out of a huge first-half hole.
“We knew it’s gonna be difficult to get by them. But hopefully, we can build on this since we’re coming off a tough loss to Ginebra, and same time, we had nine days to think about it,” he added.
Gabe Norwood spearheaded Rain or Shine's furious fourth-quarter fightback, scoring 10 points in a critical 15-3 exchange to grab the lead, 83-82 with 3:25 left to play.
But the Texters showed composure from there, with de Ocampo hitting two cold-blooded jump shots, which proved to be the knockout punches against the E-Painters.
The E-Painters fell into a tie for fourth with the GlobalPort Batang Pier on 4-3 (win-loss) records following their second straight loss.
Undersized forward Harvey Carey finished the game with 15 boards, nine on the offensive end, while Danny Seigle and Kelly Williams combined for 17 rebounds for the Texters, who outrebounded the shorter E-Painters, 64-47.
De Ocampo finished the game with 20 points, six boards and three steals, while Jason Castro had a quiet 12 points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field.
Jervy Cruz led Rain or Shine with 14 points, while Norwood added 13.
Talk N' Text 90 - DeOcampo 20, Castro 12, Anthony 10, Seigle 9, Williams 9, Fonacier 8, Carey 8, Alapag 7, Reyes 3, Celiz 2, Poligrates 2, Baclao 0.
Rain or Shine 87 - Cruz 14, Norwood 13, Chan 12, Lee 12, Belga 9, Arana 7, Nuyles 5, Quinahan 4, Tang 4, Rodriguez 4, Almazan 2, Tiu 1, Teng 0, Ibanes 0.
Quarterscores: 26-18, 49-35, 72-66, 90-87