RANIDEL de Ocampo and Jayson Castro proved a pain in the side of Rain or Shine as Talk ‘N Text subdued Rain or Shine, 99-92 in a fight-marred Game Four to level the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals at 2-2 on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
De Ocampo scored a PBA career high-tying 33 points behind a mix of three-pointers, scoop shots and dunks while Castro hit three three-pointers in the final period to keep Talk 'N Text's head above water in a game that nearly turned into a melee in the fourth quarter.
League officials and administration from the Big Dome detailed policemen in uniform at the tunnel leading to the dugout of both teams to keep the two teams apart at the end of a tension-filled game.
“We tied the series lang naman. We lived to fight another day but we just have to go back to work again tomorrow (Thursday) then play again Friday,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico, ruing that the series has degenerated into 'rough basketball.'
“It’s a rough game. Wala na yung physical, it’s rough basketball."
Tension rose early in the fourth quarter when Talk ‘N Text rookie wingman Matt Ganuelas-Rosser engaged Rain or Shine defensive ace Jireh Ibanes in a shoving incident. Ganuelas-Rosser later shoved Ibanes hard over the metal railing just under Rain or Shine’s basket.
Rain or Shine center JR Quinahan responded threw the ball at the athletic Talk ‘N Text wingman, prompting players from both sides to charge into the scene.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao quickly stood beside Quinahan, who had a heated exchange of words with Talk ‘N Text import Ivan Johnson.
Game officials later on ejected Ganuelas-Rosser and Ibanes for fighting stance. Quinahan was also tossed out of the court after being slapped with a flagrant foul penalty 2 for throwing the ball.
All three face sanctions from the Commissioner's Office.
Castro, who earlier earned his third Best Player of the Conference award, finished with 25 points. Johnson flirted with a triple double with his 19 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.
Wayne Chism picked up four quick fouls in the second period, prompting coach Yeng Guiao to play all-Filipino for much of Game Four.
While the Best Import awardee of the conference was held to 13 points and eight rebounds, Chris Tiu stepped up for Rain or Shine with a career-high 21 points. Paul Lee added 17 points.
Talk 'N Text 99 - De Ocampo 33, Castro 25, Johnson 19, Fonacier 10, Washington 4, Alas 4, Williams 2, Rosser 2, Carey 0, Aban 0.
Rain or Shine 92 - Tiu 21, Lee 17, Chism 13, Almazan 13, Arana 8, Ibanes 6, Cruz Jervy 4, Uyloan 3, Norwood 3, Belga 2, Quinahan 2, Cruz Jericho 0.
Quarterscores: 17-16, 42-41, 74-66, 99-92