Talk 'n Text equalizes finals series in emotional match

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Rain Or Shine may be known for its physical style of play that could trigger emotionally-led situations.

But on Wednesday night, it somewhat backfired.

Talk 'n Text escaped a tension-filled Game 4 of the best-of-seven PBA Commissioner's Cup finals with a 99-92 win against Rain Or Shine at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Tropang Texters forced Rain Or Shine import Wayne Chism, who earlier won the Best Import award, to foul trouble in the first half.

In spite of it, the locals, led by Paul Lee, responded and kept the game close in the first 24 minutes.

Emotions began to rise when Ryan Araña and Harvey Carey were slapped with technical fouls after some shoving after a rebound play.

Talk 'n Text then began pulling away, leading by as much as 13, 63-50, late in the third quarter.

Rain Or Shine, however, still fought back and came to within four, 70-74, in the early goings of the fourth.

Another melee triggered when Jireh Ibañes and Matt Rosser got entangled with 9:47 left and TNT leading, 80-72. It quickly escalated when J.R. Quiñahan threw the ball at Rosser. All players were sent off.

The Tropang Texters took over from there and stretched the lead to 14 and held on to the win, tying the series at two wins each.

Ranidel De Ocampo sizzled for Talk 'n Text with 33 points, highlighted by two slams and three triples, and two blocks.

Jayson Castro, who for the second straight year became the Commissioner's Cup Best Player, added 25 markers.

Chris Tiu also had a breakout game for Rain Or Shine as he scored a conference-high 21 points, catching fire in the second half. Chism was limited to only 13.

Box Scores:

Talk N Text 99--De OCampo 33, Castro 25, Johnson 19, Fonacier 10, Washington 4, Alas 4, Williams 2, Rosser 2, Carey 0, Aban 0

Rain or Shine 92--Tiu 21, Lee 17, Chism 13, Almazan 13, Arana 8, Ibanes 6, Jerv. Cruz 4, Uyloan 3, Norwood 3, Belga 2, Quinahan 2, Jeri. Cruz 0, Tang 0

Quarterscores: 17-16, 42-41, 74-66, 99-92