Notwithstanding being down double digits during the second period while also being torched by Jason Castro’s hot shooting, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters used a strong second half to come back and hold on to a 116-108 win to tie the series at 1-1 held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters built a quick 7-0 gap in the opening 90 seconds of the match, including two wide open dunks from Wayne Chism and Raymond Almazan. After a series of turnovers, Jayson Castro played the passing lanes and intercepted a pass that led to TNT’s first field goal of the game. Rain or Shine cooled down in the next minutes, as the Texters tied the game with the Elasto Painters, entering the penalty with not more than five minutes passing the opening period.
Castro, then, caught fire from downtown, drilling two shots to give TNT an 18-16 lead. Quick to respond off the timeout were Gabe Norwood and Beau Belga, as they made their own attempts from the three-point area. After a series of exchange, Rain or Shine ended the first period on top by a point.
Upon the entrance of the second unit, the second period continued to display the scoring spree between both squads. Lead exchanges started to pile up, while the physicality also heightened up. Down four, the Tropang Texters answered with an 19-0 in a very quick span to help them build an 58-41 lead in a blink of an eye.
Off a seemingly late timeout to halt the momentum, Rain or Shine started to make their baskets once again, but they could not limit TNT’s transition game. The Tropang Texters entered the locker rooms with a 62-49 advantage with Jayson Castro already tallying 27 points, including seven triples in the first 24 minutes.
Defense started to pick up for the Elasto Painters in the third quarter as they limited Castro from taking over the game and further extending the lead. Despite Castro making his eighth trey in the opening minutes of the period, Rain or Shine grabbed 78-76 with about three minutes to go with their furious rally offensively and lockdown defense in full display. Rain or Shine eventually grabbed the lead by outscoring TNT by 14 in the quarter.
The lead was extended once again to as high as seven for Rain or Shine at 96-89, as Paul Lee started to make his presence felt from distance. The game became close once again with Ranidel de Ocampo asserting himself down low as he scored on a hook while dishing on cutting teammates.
However, Lee made a triple with 3:25 left in Game 2 as he gave RoS a 10-point spread. The Elasto Painters made the necessary stops to seal the game, while also making the shots to halt any attempts of a late TNT surge.
Chism led ROS with 30 points, 13 boards, and three steals. Four Elasto Painter locals ended in double-digit scoring, led by Paul Lee’s 20 including seven of eight from the foul stripe.
Castro had a game high of 44 points, including nine triples, which is a PBA finals record for most triples in a game by a local.
Game 3 of the series will be played on Sunday, 5pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Rain or Shine(116) – Chism 30, Lee 19, Chan 17, Norwood 14, Ibañes 12, Belga 8, Almazan 4, Teng 2, Quinahan 2, Cruz 0, Tang 0, Tiu 0, Cruz 0
Talk ‘N Text(108) – Castro 44, Johnson 20, De Ocampo 15, Ganuelas-Rosser 10, Fonacier 8, Alas 5, Williams 2, Siegle 2, Aban 2
Quarters: 27-26, 49-62, 85-88, 116-108