TNT wins PBA Comm Cup title in epic double OT showdown with ROS

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--It needed almost an hour of intense basketball action and three hours of real time to declare the 2015 PBA Commissioner's Cup champion, and it was Talk 'n Text.

The Tropang Texters braved two overtime sessions before downing a gritty Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters squad, 121-119, in the finale of the best-of-seven finals series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.

Talk 'n Text had a hot start as the team raced to a 21-5 lead with 7:40 left in the first quarter, but Rain Or Shine slowly crawled back and was within five, 28-33 early into the second.

The Tropang Texters rebuilt the double-digit spread and pushed it back to as high as 13 late in the period before settling for a 50-42 halftime scoreline.

The Elasto Painters made another run late in the third quarter as Wayne Chism opened a 9-0 rally capped by seven straight points from Paul Lee to cut the lead back to four, 73-69.

Jay Washington buried a triple before the buzzer to stretch Talk 'n Text's lead to seven entering the fourth period.

Rain Or Shine, however, continued the rally and found itself just down by one, 83-84, after triples from Jonathan Uyloan and Chris Tiu.

Jayson Castro answered with back-to-back triples to stretch the Tropang Texters' lead back to seven 90-83.

They appeared to be on their way to the win as they maintained the seven-point gap with two minutes left in regulation.

But Wayne Chism waxed hot in the clutch as he drained back-to-back field goals, a deuce and a trey, to cut their lead to two, 96-94, with 1:03 remaining in the fourth.

Ivan Johnson went down to the floor after a hard foul and had both his elbows wounded. Still feeling the pain, he only made one of two free throws, and Talk 'n Text was up three, 97-94, with 39.3 left.

Chism tied the game, 97-all, with a three-pointer, leaving 26.2 seconds on the clock.

Castro missed on a runner that would have won the game for the Tropang Texters, giving the Elasto Painters a chance to win it with 1.6 seconds left

But Tiu also misfired his own go-ahead triple on the other end, and the game went into overtime.

Both teams exchanged baskets in the first four minutes of the first extension, but defense also played a factor as Jireh Ibañes got a hand on Johnson's layup, giving Rain Or Shine a crack at the win with 19.7 seconds left.

Lee, however, forced to go for a long three against Talk 'n Text's defense that only hit the back iron, and the team had 1.6 seconds to win Game 7.

Castro just fell short of a left wing triple as time expired, effectively sending the match to a second extra time.

Ranidel De Ocampo opened the second overtime with five straight points capped by a triple to put the Texters up, 111-106.

Tiu hit two charities on the other end, but De Ocampo answered with another trey to push the lead further to six, 114-108.

Gabe Norwood fired a triple to cut the lead to three, but Harvey Carey followed up a Castro miss to extend Talk 'n Text's advantage to five, 116-111, with 1:42 left.

Lee answered with a beautiful finish to the rim to draw Rain Or Shine to within three again, 113-116, with 1:21 remaining.

The Tropang Texters failed to score on the other end, paving the way for the Elasto Painters to inch closer.

But Tiu missed a pick-and-pop three on the other end, and Johnson hit two free throws in the next offensive to again increase Talk 'n Text's lead to five with 24.6 remaining.

Lee scored on a quick layup to put Rain Or Shine to within three again with 21.4 ticks remaining, but it took two seconds before the team intentionally fouled Castro. He kept the game interesting as he only split his charities.

Lee then drained a corner three to cut the Elasto Painters' deficit to one, 118-119, with 17.4 seconds left, but the Tropang Texters milked four seconds before Larry Fonacier got fouled by Ibañes. Fonacier made both free throws, extending their lead to three, 121-118.

With his team in penalty, Castro still fouled Lee with 3.1 seconds to go. Lee, after making the first free throw, intentionally missed the second, but Rain Or Shine failed to grab the offensive board as Talk 'n Text walked away with its seventh PBA title.

De Ocampo, who was named the Finals MVP, led the Tropang Texters with a career-high 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting along with seven rebounds, four assists, and two blocks.

Chism also had 34 points on 12-of-20 shooting while grabbing 29 rebounds, two steals, and a block.

This was the first time in league history that a championship game went to two overtimes.

Box Scores:

Talk 'n Text 121-De Ocampo 34, Johnson 30, Castro 24, Fonacier 12, Washington 10, Carey 9, Rosser 2, Alas 0, Miller 0.

Rain Or Shine 119-Lee 38, Chism 34, Tiu 10, Uyloan 8, Ibanes 8, Norwood 6, Arana 5, Jeri. Cruz 4, Quinahan 4, Belga 2, Tang 0, Chan 0, Almazan 0

Quarterscores: 29-21, 50-42, 76-69, 97-97, 106-106, 121-119