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Not tonight: Locals respond to challenge in Rain or Shine win to force Game 7

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With their backs against the wall, the locals of Rain or Shine grabbed 84 points to hold on a 101-93 Game 6 win over the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters in order to keep their season alive and more importantly; extend the finals series to a decisive seventh game.

In Game 6, the Tropang Texters went off to a good start as they had a fast 8-0 score, which included triples coming from Ivan Johnson and Ranidel De Ocampo. Rain or Shine struggled with their attempts due to early turnovers in their first possessions; thus led to their stagnant offense in the first period.

The Elasto Painters responded off a timeout with a 7-0 run to grab the lead for the first time in the match at 12-10. A wide open trey from Jireh Ibañes contributed to their lead. The RoS run did not only extend on the offensive end, but also spread out on defense, causing the Tropang Texters to force on tough attempts.

The frontline of Wayne Chism and Raymond Almazan provided the scoring punch in the interior to give them a seven-point separation at 19-12. Despite De Ocampo scoring on perimeter shots, Rain or Shine ended the first quarter on top by five.

In a surprising substitution made by RoS coach, Yeng Guiao, with their season on the line, Jeff Chan was entered into the ball game during the second quarter. Notwithstanding the pain, Chan scored on a layup and a three pointer to turn it into a 30-23 game, in favor of his squad.

Jason Castro and scrapper Harvey Carey combined for TNT’s next nine points, in order to claw their way back within one quickly at 33-32. As the score tied at 36, Paul Lee stopped the Painters’ mini drought with his first triple of the game, after missing his first four attempts. The said triple initiated an 18-6 run for the Painters in the last five minutes, which put them up by a dozen at end of halftime.

The second half displayed great defense by the Tropang Texters as they limited Rain or Shine to three quiet points at the start of the third period. They sliced the lead down to 57-54 with De Ocampo providing the offense for TNT. Showing their sense of urgency, Paul Lee and Raymond Almazan anchored the response in order to counter the Texters’ rally. The two combined for a fastbreak bucket and re-installed a 68-60 edge with four minutes to go in the third.

Chan and De Ocampo exchanged triples in the late moments of the third, but Rain or Shine managed to hang on to a five-point advantage heading into the payoff period.

Talk ‘N Text settled for a full-court pressure defense at the beginning of the fourth, which paid off when the Painters rushed their attempts to the rim. However, the Texters dealt with sorry misses from Carey and Johnson down-low that were potential points to trim the gap.

Only six minutes left on the clock, and Chris Tiu finished a 3-on-1 break to extend their lead at 87-79. Signs of frustration slowly sank in on Ivan Johnson, when he was called for his fifth foul on Paul Lee via a hard hit to the guard. TNT missed a long trey on the next play, leading to a wide open left-handed flush by Almazan on the other end, to make it a double-digit game.

Entering crunch time, Castro provided five points including a needed three pointer, but was countered by Rain or Shine’s crucial baskets and offensive boards. Up five with a minute to play, the Elasto Painters extended their lead to nine. In a sloppy ending to the match, Larry Fonacier drained in two triples. However, Rain or Shine’s second chance points hurt TNT’s chances of pulling off an impressive comeback late.

Almazan played a stellar outing with 18 points on 8 out of 10 shots, with 10 boards and a block. Rain or Shine outscored Talk ‘N Text on fastbreak points, 46-28, while also grabbing more boards 59-45.

Game 7 of the series and the last game of the Commissioner’s Cup will be played on Wednesday, 7pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

Rain or Shine (101) – Almazan 18, Chism 18, Lee 16, Chan 11, Cruz 10, Tiu 7, Norwood 6, Ibañes 3, Araña 3, Uyloan 0, Belga 0, Quiñahan 0

Talk ‘N Text (93) – De Ocampo 21, Castro 17, Washington 14, Carey 13, Fonacier 11, Johnson 6, Alas 4, Williams 4, Ganuelas-Rosser 3, Aban 0

Quarters: 23-18, 54-42, 76-71, 101-93

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