2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup: TNT moves up to 13-0 and books the first Finals seat!

There was just no stopping the Tropang Texters in this one. Even with injured ROS import Wayne Chism in tow (he was supposedly going to miss this game because of his knee injury), the Painters couldn’t get over the hump and couldn't hand their foes their first loss of the tournament. TNT, behind torrid outside shooting and solid inside play, was just too much for the overly-depleted Rain or Shine quintet, who will now bow out of the conference and rest up for the Governors' Cup. Import Richard Howell put up big numbers here, scoring 26 points and grabbing 19 rebounds to pace TNT in the win, 99-91. 

Even with Wayne Chism (left) choosing to play, the Elasto-Painters couldn't
defeat Richard Howell (right) and the rest of Talk N Text.

Rain or Shine shot well from the line and from the two-point area, but the Painters struggled mightily from long distance, making a paltry 2 of their 23 three-point shots. Wayne Chism, Gabe Norwood, Jeric Teng, Beau Belga, and Jeff Chan all drew blanks, combining for 17 long tom bricks. This negated ROS’s impressive defensive stand, which forced the Texters to commit 20 turnovers.

Ryan’s ready: Ryan Reyes hasn’t had the lion's share of points this season, but the team counted on him in this game and the former Gilas candidate delivered in spades. Reyes started at guard alongside Jimmy Alapag and sizzled from long range, draining 5 of his 8 three-point tries to finish with a conference-high 15 points on top of 4 assists, and 2 rebounds. He helped the Texters continue their unbeaten run in thirteen contests.

Game Recap by Rey Joble:


The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters booked a seat in the finals of the PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup on Friday with a 99-91 victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in Game Three of their semis series at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“Coming into this game tonight, we really wanted to finish this,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black.

In their march to the finals, the Tropang Texters have swept not just the best-of-five series, but also all 13 of their matches in the tournament so far.

Talk ‘N Text controlled the game despite the surprise appearance of Rain or Shine import Wayne Chism, who saw action despite a knee injury to score 31 points.

“It was an extremely hard-fought game, both teams played very well,” said Black.

“I would like to give Chism a lot of credit for playing tonight despite the injury, he helped make them stay competitive.”

The Tropang Texters went into the fourth quarter with a commanding 80-64 lead. But the Elasto Painters, struggling badly with injuries to key players, started off the payoff period with an 11-2 run to stay within striking distance, 82-75.

But Talk ‘N Text, behind Ryan Reyes and Ranidel De Ocampo, seemed to have an answer for every Elasto Painters run as the Tropang Texters held on for the win.

Three-point shooting was a big key, with Tropang Texters sizzling for 14-of-28 from beyond the arc. In contrast, Rain or Shine made just two of 23 from long-distance. Top gun Jeff Chan struggled anew, missing all seven of his three-point attempts.

“We are the top three-point shooting team. We rely on that,” said Black.

The telecommunications franchise will make its first appearance in a PBA championship round since winning the 2013 Philippine Cup.

“That’s the goal right now, to win the championship,” said Black.

Talk ‘N Text awaits the winner of the other semifinals matchup between the Air 21 Express and the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers.

TNT 99 – Howell 26, De Ocampo 15, Reyes 15, Castro 10, Fonacier 10, Williams 7, Seigle 6, Canaleta 6, Alapag 3, Carey 1, Aban 0.
ROS 91 – Chism 31, Almazan 13, Norwood 12, Chan 11, Rodriguez 9, Uyloan 5, Tang 5, Nuyles 2, Teng 2, Belga 1, Arana 0, Lee 0.
QS: 30-17, 55-45, 80-64, 99-91
Ryan Reyes consoles Gabe Norwood after the elimination game.

Rookie center Raymond Almazan delivers the flush.

Richard Howell is making a strong case for Best Import.

Wayne Chism put up a valiant stand, but it was all in vain.

Images by Paolo Papa/Sports 5.

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