MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Defending champion Talk ‘N Text made it two in a row against Rain or Shine and raced to a 2-0 series lead in the PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven finals showdown Friday night.
Ranidel de Ocampo scored 24 points, including the clincher with 1:43 remaining in the game, to help the Texters get an 89-81 victory against the Elasto Painters in Game 2.
“Lumalaban ‘yung mga kasama ko, ‘yung mga team mates ko, lahat kami nagtulungan, pati ‘yung mga coach,” said the versatile forward who made 9-of-17 field goals against Rain or Shine.
The Elasto Painters engaged the Texters in a close battle which saw several lead changes in the first three periods.
But Talk ‘N Text was able to limit Rain or Shine in the fourth quarter and this spelled the Elasto Painters’ doom.
The Texters outscored the Elasto Painters 26-18 in the final period, giving way to Talk ‘N Text's second straight win in the series.
“Between us getting back on defense, limiting our turnovers and also guarding the post, I think those are the keys to the game today,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black.
“Also it's always nice to make shots, if you can make shots, it makes the coach's life a lot easier.”
Although the Elasto Painters tied the game 11-all midway the first quarter, the Texters still managed to put up a 23-15 lead going into the second period.
Ronnie Matias’ back-to-back baskets pulled Rain or Shine within two, 32-30, but Jason Castro and Harvey Carey kept Talk ‘N Text ahead, 42-33.
The Texters had several turnovers in the third, enabling Paul Lee and Jervy Cruz to score two straight buckets for a 59-57 Rain or Shine lead.
|Talk 'N Text's Ranidel de Ocampo attempts a layup against Rain or Shine's Jervy Cruz on Friday's PBA Philippine Cup finals. Talk 'N Text bagged Game 2, 89-81, for a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
But De Ocampo took over midway the fourth, scoring 6 of the Texters’ last 9 points while Talk ‘N Text pinned down most of Rain or Shine’s scorers.
Castro finished with 21 points and Kelly Williams added 12.
JR Quinahan top-scored for Rain or Shine with 16 points.
Black said that although Talk ‘N Text shifted its focus on offense in the current conference, defense will remain their bread and butter against Rain or Shine.
“We've been a good defensive team but we've really focused on offense. But now we still wanted to be known as a good offensive team but we still want our defense to be our calling card,” said the former Ateneo coach.
“That’s the only way we’re gonna win the series against Rain or Shine.”
The best-of-seven series will resume on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Talk ‘N Text 89 - De Ocampo 24, Castro 21, Williams 12, Fonacier 7, Dillinger 6, Aban 6, Reyes 4, Carey 4, Alapag 3, Peek 2, Raymundo 0, Ferriols 0.
Rain or Shine 81 - Quinahan 16, Lee 15, Cruz 12, Norwood 9, Chan 9, Arana 9, Matias 4, Belga 3, Rodriguez 2, Ibanes 2, Tiu 0, Tang 0.
Quarter scores: 23-15, 44-35, 63-63, 89-81