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Talk ‘N Text nips Rain or Shine to bag Commissioner’s Cup title in historic Game 7



Both teams needed 58 minutes to decide a champion. However, only one had to win. Only one had to survive. At the end of the night, the conference belonged to the Tropang Texters.

Game 7 of the 2015 PBA Commissioners Cup featured a first– a double overtime extension that was sealed by Talk ‘N Text in a thrilling and scintillating 121-119 finish over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, to write another successful chapter in their storied franchise, held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.

Talk ‘N Text couldn’t have asked for a better start as they came out of the gates blistering scoring-wise, building an early double-digit separation in just three minutes of play. Despite Paul Lee answering the opening triple of Ranidel De Ocampo with his own trey, the Tropang Texters’ showcased their spectacular shooting in the opening frame. De Ocampo and Harvey Carey made their own and one plays, which generated a 15-5 game that further rattled Rain or Shine squad.

The Painters, on the other hand, had a poor start shooting the basketball, while also committing unforced turnovers, that led to transition baskets on the other end. Six more points capped by a three-point play by Ivan Johnson gave TNT their largest lead in the opening 12 minutes at 21-5. Lee salvaged some points and led the run in the middle of the quarter as they finished a 16-5 run to trim the deficit down to eight after 12 minutes of action.

Seeing their lead slowly evaporating, Talk ‘N Text started the second period with majority of their starters on the floor. Both teams had a hard time cracking the basket as the first field goal of the second came from a contested triple by Jonathan Uyloan with over eight minutes to go to make it a 33-26 game in favor of TNT. Scoring started to cool down for the two teams, but TNT built a mini 6-0 run including a tough basket by De Ocampo to reinstall a 10-point lead, 40-32.

Rain or Shine finished the last three minutes of the first half on a 10-5 run slice the lead to single digits again. The Painters had a tough time containing the transition game of the Texters as they were outscored 8-0 in fast break points after 24 minutes.

The Tropang Texters initiated the second half the way they started the game with their scorching shooting from downtown, helping them cruise in the third. After a fast break layup completed by Harvey Carey, the Texters unleashed four triples to make it a 64-51 game. Rain or Shine chipped in quick baskets for a counterattack, but Ivan Johnson came alive with back-to-back hangtime shots to beat the shot clock buzzer and maintain their edge.

The last half of the third quarter was a showcase between the top two Best Player of the Conference favorites, Jason Castro and Paul Lee, as these tremendous guards went head-to-head to carry their respective squads. Lee, however, scored more in the dying minutes, including a fastbreak triple to cut the lead to four, 69-73. A nice play in the last seconds for TNT led to a wide open corner shot for Jay Washington, to stop Rain or Shine’s run and take a seven point lead heading into the fourth.

Castro and De Ocampo made sharply-contested treys to open up the payoff period, but Uyloan knocked down a triple to aid Chism’s first eight points in fourth quarter, hence making it an 84-80 game, in favor of the Tropang Texters. After Chris Tiu turned it into a one-point game with a triple, Castro countered with back-to-back of his own to make it a 90-83 game. The following sequence saw Lee making a triple, but was answered by a hook shot by De Ocampo.

With the scoreboard showing a 96-91 match in favor of TNT, and with less than two minutes to play, Tiu secured a big offensive rebound that led to a wide open triple by Wayne Chism. Afterwhich, Johnson split his charity shots to make it a three-point game in their favor that was responded by a clutch off-balanced triple by Chism to tie it up at 97. As Castro missed a long two in the dying seconds, Chris Tiu also muffed a hoisted triple with 1.6 seconds left that extended the match to overtime.

In overtime, Chism scored five straight points, including a pivotal corner trey to make it a 104-101 game, with over a minute to play. Quick to respond were Johnson, who buried his own from downtown, and Larry Fonacier, who made free throws to swing the lead on their side.

Tiu found a cutting Paul Lee on their side to tie the game again, while Chism played superb defense, as he swatted a potential lead-giving basket by Johnson. Off their timeouts, Lee and Castro exchanged misses from three-point territory that extended Game 7 for a second overtime.

De Ocampo drilled in eight fast points including two big time triples that gave them a 114-111 lead, while Harvey Carey continued his stellar second half with huge offensive rebounds for TNT. Tiu fails to convert a triple that was answered by two charity stripe hits by Johnson to make it a five-point game. In the succeeding play down three, Lee was fouled by Castro with three ticks left, but the Rain or Shine guard made only the first one, while Johnson corralled the championship-sealing rebound.

In a stat sheet-filled match up, the two teams combined for 38 triples the entire game. Rain or Shine had more boards, 59-48 but it was Castro and De Ocampo’s composure late that spelled the difference and edge to get the title.

De Ocampo, the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals MVP, tallied his career-high in this championship game as he ended with 34 points including six triples, together with seven boards in 47 minutes of playing time. Johnson added a 34 marker, 11 rebound statline.

Chism played a stellar game for the bridesmaid finishers with 34 points, 29 rebounds in the entire 58-minute span of the game.

The scores:
Talk ‘N Text (121) – De Ocampo 34, Johnson 30, Castro 24, Fonacier 12, Washington 10, Carey 9, Espiritu 2, Alas 0, Miller 0, Williams 0
Rain or Shine (119) – Lee 38, Chism 34, Tiu 10, Ibañes 8, Uyloan 8, Norwood 6, Araña 5, Cruz 4, Quiñahan 4, Belga 2, Tang 0, Almazan 0

Quarter scores: 31-21, 50-42, 76-69, 97-97, 106-106, 121-119

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Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool



SMART Gilas Pilipinas’ third session for the second leg of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers ended early on Monday evening.

Prior to the end of the practice, head coach Chot Reyes talked to team veterans Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, and June Mar Fajardo. The outspoken mentor told the seniors of the team that he is cutting Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan from the pool.

“The reason why we’re dropping Abueva and Almazan for the second window is because they haven’t showed up,” lamented Reyes.

“It’s already our third practice at hindi pa sila nagpapakita. It’s simply a matter of disinterest.

“I guess they’re not interested so we have to move on we can’t wait for those guys,” he pointed out.

Both Abueva and Almazan were part of the teams that competed in the 2017 SEABA Championship, the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, and the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Only 10 players from the pool showed up for the team’s third session. And with the second leg exactly one month away, Gilas cannot let a slip up happen especially against Australia.

“Aside from those two we don’t know where Matt Wright is, while Allein [Maliksi] is attending a wedding in Australia. Other than that it’s really just an issue of Calvin and Raymond if they don’t want to be a part of the pool.” expressed Reyes.

“That’s the reason we’re dropping them for the second window.”

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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

23 for 2023 cadets fill up Gilas practice



With just 31 days until the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, only 10 players from the pool attended the team’s third session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

Suiting up in the session presided over by Coach Chot Reyes were June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, and Roger Pogoy. Carl Cruz and Jayson Castro were in attendance but were in street clothes.

Not present were Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, and Allein Maliksi. Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan have yet to attend practice.

Joining the seniors team to prep them up for the World Cup Qualifiers were 10 players from the 23 for 2023 pool.

Ateneo Blue Eagle Matt Nieto attended his first Gilas practice. Joining him were teammates Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena.

Completing the night’s cast were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Will Gozum, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, and Juan Gomez de Liano. Joshua Sinclair watched from the sidelines as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.

Gilas will take on Australia in Melbourne on February 22. The Philippine will then host Japan three days later at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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San Beda fends off Letran for back-to-back wins



With seasoned setter John Carlo Desuyo steering the wheel to near perfection, the San Beda College romped to their second straight win.

The Red Spikers pulled double-digit outings from four players to upend archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22, and register their fourth win of the season, Monday early evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

It was the Knights, however, who started on the right foot, overhauling a 4-10 deficit to snag the first set. Better passing from liberos Aljune Centeno and Johnsen Timbreza resulted in kills from captain Bobby Gatdula.

Nonetheless, San Beda picked up the service game in the next three sets to ultimately finish off the blue-shirts.

Despite the win-loss record they currently sport, the Red Spiker playmaker admitted that t

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Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual



Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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