Paul Harris played a stellar game, while a great defensive effort by Talk ‘N Text keyed the Tropang Texters’ 98-90 triumph over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in their PBA Governors’ Cup semis match Monday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Harris finished with 34 points, 16 rebounds, and five assists in a solid all-around performance that kept Talk ‘N Text’s hope of forging a playoff for a finals berth alive.
“He doesn’t want to go home,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes about his reinforcement. “He doesn’t want it to end. There were times when I can be very hard on him and would shout on him, but he just continued to play and that’s why he’s still here.”
While Harris maintained his composure throughout the match, his counterpart, Jamelle Cornley, faltered in the endgame. The Rain or Shine import had two crucial miscues and missed important shots that could have changed the complexion of the game.
With Cornley a non-factor in the endgame, the Elasto Painters failed to complete their comeback that saw them cutting an 18-point deficit to just one.
The Elasto Painters rallied from a 62-44 deficit in the third period, behind the efforts of Beau Belga, who knocked down two three-pointers, Cornley, Paul Lee, and Jeff Chan.
By the end of the third period, the Elasto Painters were only down, 80-79.
But in the fourth quarter, Ali Peek and Kelly Williams anchored the Tropang Texters’ defense as Talk ‘N Text held Rain or Shine to only 11 points. Cornley was reduced to only two field goals.
Talk ‘N Text’s win over Rain or Shine made the final day of the semifinals on Wednesday more interesting.
Rain or Shine fell into a tie for the lead with B-MEG with a 9-4 win-loss card. The two teams face each other in Wednesday’s curtain raiser at 5:15 p.m. with the winner advancing to the championship round. The loser of the match will face the winner of the main game between Talk ‘N Text and Barangay Ginebra for a playoff for the last finals berth.
“All we did tonight was buy a little bit more time, but our situation hasn’t changed. On Wednesday, we and Barangay Ginebra will be both fighting for our lives. We will see if we have enough gas to eke out another win. We would like to be happy with this win against Rain or Shine, we’d like to be happy, but we cannot afford to because there’s a big game on Wednesday,” said Reyes.
Talk ‘N Text (98) – Harris 34, De Ocampo 17, Alapag 10, Fonacier 9, Castro 8, Williams 6, Peek 6, Aguilar 5, Aban 3, Raymundo 0, Reyes 0.
Rain or Shine (90) – Cornley 27, Chan 15, Quinahan 14, Lee 13, Belga 11, Norwood 6, Buenafe 4, Matias 0, Tang 0, Arana 0, Ibanes 0.
Quarters: 30-21, 57-44, 80-79, 98-90
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