TALK `N Text rallied back from the depths of a 13-point third quarter deficit as the defending champions hacked out a come-from-behind 80-77 win over Rain or Shine to remain unbeaten in the PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday night in a road game in Victorias City, Negros Occidental.
The Tropang Texters struggled for most part of the match, especially in the absence of scoring leader Jayson Castro who injured his left arm.
But the reigning champions clawed their way back into the game by relying on defense.
The Tropang Texters held Rain or Shine gunner Jeff Chan to only six points after the gunner went into the game leading the tournament in scoring with a 23.0 points average per game.
Larry Fonacier then took care of offense for Talk `N Text when it mattered most.
The sweet-shooting wingman from Ateneo scored seven of his game total 12 points in the final period to help the Tropang Texters turn a double-digit deficit to a 76-73 cushion entering the final two minutes of play.
Rain or Shine had one last chance to send the game into overtime with 1.5 ticks remaining, but JR Quinahan’s desperate heave from beyond the arc failed to hit the mark, allowing Talk ‘N Text to keep its unbeaten record at 6-0.
The Elasto Painters, who drew another double-double effort – 14 points, 11 rebounds – from the vastly improved forward Jervy Cruz, had their three-game winning streak snapped.
They still maintain solo second spot though, with a 4-2 record.
Talk `N Text (80) - Alapag 15, De Ocampo 13, Fonacier 12, Peek 11, Reyes 7, Williams 7, Dillinger 6, Raymundo 5, Carey 2, Ferriols 2, Gamalinda 0.
Rain or Shine (77) - Cruz 14, Rodriguez 13, Ibanes 9, Quinahan 9, Belga 8, Matias 7, Norwood 7, Tang 6, Chan 4, Arana 0.
Quarterscores: 19-22; 42-38; 63-67; 80-77.