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Rain or Shine runs past Talk ‘N Text, heads to semifinals



In their last game, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters players and their head coach Yeng Guiao admitted that they are still not ready for the playoffs.

After just two days, the Elasto Painters looked prime and ready for the semifinals in routing the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters 104-89 to advance to the semifinals of the 2015-16 PBA Philippine Cup Monday evening at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

In contrast to their elimination round match-up that saw TNT gain an early 17-0 lead, rookie guard Maverick Ahanmisi quickly got the pace running for the Elasto Painters in scoring five points in a 9-2 spurt. Almazan then powered his way through the paint in scoring nine points to extend the lead to 14-5. However, the backcourt tandem of Jayson Castro and Aaron Aban converted on back-to-back three-pointers to keep the Blue and Black close. The first quarter ended with Rain or Shine holding a six point lead 26-20.

Former Adamsonian Don Trollano unleashed five points off the bench to open the second stanza to extend the lead to double-digits 33-20. Ryan Reyes and top pick Moala Tautuaa helped keep their team afloat in an in-and-out combination to cut the lead to five, 41-36, midway through the quarter. As the two teams exchanged baskets, it was Chris Tiu who helped keep his team’s lead in scoring five points to close out the half with ROS leading 52-44.

Back-to-back conversions by Gabe Norwood opened the second half to once again extend the Rain or Shine lead to double-figures but Tautuaa’s brute force in the paint kept the game close. A three by Ryan Reyes again cut the lead to five but a catch-and-shoot triple by Jericho Cruz and another one by Jeff Chan extended the lead to 11 once more, 80-69. It was 84-75 in favor of the Elasto Painters before the final frame begun.

In the final quarter, the Elasto Painters tempo visibly fatigued the veteran-laden Tropang Texters. Moreover, the defense of the Guiao-mentored squad limited their opponents to forced and contested shots. Trollano, Quinahanan, and Ponferrada continued to pour it on as the lead ballooned to 19, 104-85, with two minutes left in the game. The shots continued to miss for the Tropang Texters as Yeng Guiao, who had been pushing his team all game long, celebrated on the sidelines. For the first time in 13 years, Guiao has defeated Talk ‘N Text in a playoff game, 104-89.

“This was a blessing in disguise,” Guiao admitted about the longer route the team has taken to the semifinals. “If we were in the semifinals directly, I feel that we are not yet that ready. The past few games toughened us up and now we are really ready for the semifinals.”

Guiao also praised the Talk ‘N Text franchise for developing a “smart and tough” team. “Talk ‘N Text is a smart team. A very tough team. They are well-coached and they have the talent.”

“In our first game, we were down 17-0 and we were not able to recover. Today we needed to set the pace,” he shared. “That’s why I was screaming my lungs out because you can’t let a smart team get the lead. If they go up by eight, it’s going to be hard for us to catch-up.”

Player of the Game Raymond Almazan credited his teammates for his spectacular outing in saying, “Nagpapasalamat ako sa teammates ko kasi lahat kami nagtutulungan. Maganda ang pasahan namin at lagi nahahanap yung open.”

When asked about the longer road his team has taken to the semifinals, just like his head coach, Almazan said that this journey was better for their team. “Matagal kami kinausap ni coach simula nung natalo kami sa NLEX. Siguro nga ayaw ni God na madali ang dadaanan namin.”

Almazan had a double-double in the game with 15 points and ten boards in just 24 minutes of action. He was an excellent 5/7 from both the field and the foul line and was able to swat away three shots. Six other Elasto Painters scored in double-digits. Don Trollano arguably had his best outing as a pro in scoring 14 markers, knocking down two triples, while Jeff Chan added 13 markers.

For the fallen Texters, Castro led the way with 25 points but was just 7/19 from the field. He was also able to grab 11 boards in the loss. Tautuaa also added 14 points and eight boards.

As a team, Rain or Shine shot an excellent 50% from the field compared to the 43% of TNT. Moreover, the Painters continued to punish the paint in scoring 50 points in the paint while also converting on ten three-pointers that completely confused the TNT defense.

The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters will have a week off before they face the defending Philippine Cup champions, the San Miguel Beermen. Their best-of-seven series will begin on Monday, January 4 at t SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Scores:
Rain or Shine (104) – Almazan 15, Trollano 14, Chan 13, Cruz 11, Norwood 11, Quinahan 11, Ahanmisi 10, Ponferrada 8, Belga 6, Tiu 5, Ibanes 0.
Talk ‘N Text (89) – Castro 25, Tautuaa 14, Aban 11, Reyes R. 10, Rosario 10, Seigle 10, Williams 5, Reyes J. 2, Fonacier 1, Ganuelas 1, Carey 0, Miranda 0, Ababou 0.
Quarterscores: 26-20, 52-44, 75-84, 104-89

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