TALK ‘N Text got off to a strong start before holding off Rain or Shine’s fourth-quarter run for a 99-92 win in Game One of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Ranidel de Ocampo stood out in the endgame for the Tropang Texters, scoring six of his team’s last nine points to seal the team's eighth successive win over Rain or Shine - and 13th in their last 16 meetings overall.
But the win - and the 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series - hardly impressed Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico, who felt they lacked the emotion needed for a Finals game.
“We’re happy we won, but w’ere not satisfied with the way we played,” said Uichico. “Although we won, we didn’t show the level of emotion we had (in the semifinal series against Purefoods),” he added.
So dominant was TnT that the most excited the crowd got was when Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao fell on the bench after being bumped by Talk ‘N Text import Ivan Johnson as the American was heading back to play defense.
Guiao stood up to confront Johnson and the Talk ‘N Text coaching staff after what he felt was an intentional move to hurt him. The 6-foot-7 Johnson was immediately restrained by his teammates, though he was eventually slapped with a technical foul.
Uichico said he didn’t see the play, though the coach said Johnson assured him later that he did not bump Guiao on purpose.
Defensively, Talk ‘N Text managed to contain the running-and-gunning Rain or Shine side, which was held down to just 11 fastbreak points.
De Ocampo led the Tropang Texters with 24 points while Johnson added 23 and 12 rebounds despite battling foul trouble since the early part of the second half.
Jayson Castro, the hero in Talk ‘N Text's 3-1 semifinal series win over Purefoods, had a quiet 14 points, though he added five rebounds and five assists.
Wayne Chism led the Elasto Painters with 34 points and 15 rebounds but Paul Lee was the lone local scorer in double figures with 13 points.
Talk 'N Text 99 - De Ocampo 24, Johnson 23, Castro 14, Rosser 10, Fonacier 8, Williams 8, Washington 5, Alas 5, Carey 2, Aban 0.
Rain or Shine 92 - Chism 34, Lee 13, Almazan 9, Chan 8, Tang 6, Norwood 5, Tiu 5, Ibanes 4, Arana 3, Belga 2, Quinahan 2, Cruz Jervy 1, Uyloan 0, Cruz Jericho 0.
Quarterscores:28-23, 49-41, 76-70, 99-92