Texters move a win from sweep
|Rain or Shine's Chris Tiu attempts a jump shot against Talk N Text's Jayson Castro (17) in Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals. The Texters won, 89-80. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Talk 'N Text rained down three-pointers on Rain or Shine to highlight its furious comeback from nine points down early in the fourth quarter, carving out a stirring 89-80 win and a huge three-game-to-nil lead in the PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night.
Ranidel de Ocampo, Jimmy Alapag and Jason Castro combined for four treys in a 16-4 closing run carrying the Texters to the great come-from-behind win and into the threshold of an epic all-Filipino three-peat.
The Texters go for a series sweep Wednesday also at the Big Dome.
For the record, no team has ever come back and win a title after falling behind 0-3 in a best-of-seven series.
Chris Tiu and Ryan Arana came through with key baskets as Rain or Shine established some rhythm and opened a five-point lead, 64-59, in the third quarter.
Scoring only two points each in the first half, Tiu and Arana rifled in eight apiece in the third period.
Harvey Carey stood his ground against Paul Lee’s drive then the Texters ran their own transition play with Jason Castro stopping atop the key and popping a jumper just before the buzzer sounded, giving the Texters a 42-39 lead at the turn.
It was the E-Painters’ best first-half performance in the series that saw them fight the Texters through five deadlocks and nine lead changes.
It was a battle marred by a flagrant foul penalty, one committed by Arana and a technical infraction by Larry Rodriguez both against Kelly Williams.
JR Quinahan, TY Tang and Jeff Chan made three straight drive-in baskets as Rain or Shine led for the last time in the first half at 32-31.
Williams, Castro and Ryan Reyes answered with a 9-4 binge for TNT as the Texters raced ahead at 40-36.
A three-point play by Beau Belga followed by a defensive stop by Rain or Shine gave the E-Painters a chance to take the upper hand at the half.
But instead of playing the clock before taking the last shot, the Elasto Painters quickly attacked the basket with Lee missing on shot off Carey. Thus, the Texters gained last possession and Castro made a basket in the nick of time as TNT sat on the three-point cushion at the half.