MANILA, Philippines – The Talk 'N Text (TNT) Tropang Texters overcame a double-digit deficit to defeat the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 80-77, in their out-of-town game at the Victorias Sports and Amusement Center in Negros Occidental Saturday night.
With their victory, the Texters remained the top team in the PBA Philippine Cup with an immaculate 6-0 record.
Larry Fonacier, Jimmy Alapag and Ranidel de Ocampo came up big in crunch time for TNT, who trailed by as much as 13 points in the third quarter.
"We're aware that we're 6-0, but that's not our main concern," said TNT head coach Norman Black in an interview with PBA.ph.
"We have a long way to go and we have many things left to develop," he added.
The Elasto Painters were in control for most of the game, taking a 42-38 lead at halftime before going up by double-digits in the third canto.
Alapag led the Texters' rally in the final quarter, firing a triple to the snare the lead at 74-73 before Fonacier and Ryan Reyes both scored to make it a 5-point game with a little over two minutes to go.
But the Elasto Painters threatened again, with Jeff Chan, Beau Belga and TY Tang combining to put Rain or Shine to within one, 77-78.
Rain or Shine had a chance to win the game after a defensive stop by Ronnie Matias against Jarred Dillinger, but Gabe Norwood missed a potential go-ahead jumper and was forced to send De Ocampo to the line with just 16.5 seconds left.
JR Quiñahan then missed a game-tying triple, allowing the Texters to remain undefeated.
Rain or Shine are still at second place with a 4-2 record.
Alapag finished with 15 points, while De Ocampo had 13 and Fonacier scored 12. Jervy Cruz led the Elasto Painters with 14 points, but Jeff Chan, the PBA’s leading scorer, was shut down and finished with just four points.
TALK N' TEXT 80 - Alapag 15, De Ocampo 13, Fonacier 12, Peek 11, Reyes 7,Williams 7, Dillinger 6, Raymundo 5, Carey 2, Ferriols 2, Gamalinda 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 77 - Cruz 14, Rodriguez 13, Ibanes 9, Quinahan 9, Belga 8, Matias 7, Norwood 7, Tang 6, Chan 4, Arana 0.
Quarters: 19-22, 42-38, 63-67, 80-77