The Talk n’ Text Tropang Texters bagged their second win in the Philippine Cup, after trouncing a short-handed and misfiring Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 99-76, Sunday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
Rain or Shine took a 6-0 lead early in the first quarter, after back-to-back triples from Paul Lee and Jeric Teng. Talk n’ Text responded with an 11-0 run of their own, commencing a trade of runs in the quarter. The Tropang Texters rode on a 7-0 run late in the quarter to close out the period with the 29-21 lead.
The Tropang Texters extended the run to start the second period, denying the Elasto Painters a single point to build a 15-point, 36-21 lead in the opening three minutes of the quarter. Though JR Quiñahan and Paul Lee were able to inject some life into the Rain or Shine cause, the sweet-shooting Talk n’ Text would remain in the driver’s seat, getting much needed help from veteran Jay Washington’s 10 points in the quarter and terrific shooting from the rookie duo of Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Kevin Alas. Talk n’ Text exited the first half with a 56-45 lead.
Rain or Shine experienced another setback early in the third quarter when star guard Paul Lee had to be sidelined after hurting his leg during a scuffle for the ball with Talk n’ Text’s Ryan Reyes. Lee had hurt his hamstring two weeks ago, and was only able to return to the court earlier this week. He managed to drill in 8 points before making his exit. With the rookie Alas exploding for nine points in the quarter to take charge for Jong Uichico’s squad, the TnT lead ballooned anew, and at the end of the quarter, the Tropang Texters returned to the benches with an 83-60 lead.
Led by Gabe Norwood, the Elasto Painters were able to trim the deficit down to 16-points, 72-88, halfway through the fourth quarter. But big baskets from TnT veterans Larry Fonacier and Ranidel de Ocampo extended the lead to twenty-one, 93-71, entering the final two minutes. The dying minutes saw the Elasto Painters hold on to the lead hitting basket after basket.
Rookie Kevin Alas, the second overall draft pick from Letran, grabbed his first Best Player of the Game award, after a solid 18-point, 6-rebound, 4-assist performance. Jay Washington had 18 points while Matt Ganuelas-Rosser chipped in 10. Jeff Chan led all Rain or Shine scorers with 16 points, while Gabe Norwood and Jonathan Uyloan contributed 10 points apiece.