SEA Games

De Ocampo, Castro catch fire as Texters even series

Naveen Ganglani
De Ocampo, Castro catch fire as Texters even series
Ranidel de Ocampo and Conference best player Jayson Castro combine for 58 points Talk 'N Text levels the PBA Finals series vs Rain or Shine at 2-2

MANILA, Philippines – It wasn’t easy, nor was it anywhere close to tame. But the Talk ’N Text Tropang Texters got the job done, and now we’re back to square one.

Talk ’N Text rode the hot hand of their two best locals Jayson Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo, who combined to score 58 points, and survive a brutal game 4 against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 99-92, on Wednesday, April 22, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Commissioner’s Cup Finals is now tied at 2-2, with game five scheduled on Friday, April 24. What happens until then is anyone’s guess, but it’s safe to assume the PBA Commissioner’s Office will likely hand fines and maybe even suspensions.

“It’s good we won, we tied the series. We live to fight another day. The series is tied, and then we’re back to work again tomorrow,” said Talk ’N Text head coach Jong Uichico, who says he hasn’t coached a series that’s been this physical in his career.

“It’s a rough game. The refs have to do their job.”

“Again, we were the victims,” said Yeng Guiao, who feels the first two and a half quarters of the game were “not fair.”

“The refs need to control the game. Hindi na naco-control yung physicality (the physicality’s getting out of control).”

Tensions escalated early in the fourth period when an Elasto Painters fastbreak led to a scramble between Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Jireh Ibanes near the baseline and aggravated to a brawl in the press row. After both were separated, Rain or Shine big man JR Quinahan threw the basketball right on Rosser’s face, prompting a free-for-all between players and coaching staff members of both sides.

“I think it will escalate if they allow it to escalate…the refs are supposed to control the game and protect the players,” Guiao said.

“It’s a nice series and we don’t want it to turn into an ugly series.”

Talk ’N Text sealed the win after Quinahan (flagrant two), Ibanes, and Rosser (fighting) were all ejected from the game at the 9:47 mark. Subsequent to a couple of three-balls by Jonathan Uyloan and Chris Tiu that inched the Elasto Painters to within striking distance, De Ocampo scored two straight baskets in the post and Larry Fonacier nailed a triple to put their team up 14, 92-78.

Rain or Shine answered with a corner three-pointer by Gabe Norwood and a Tiu layup, but those were quickly countered by a lay-up by Castro over Beau Belga and a contested three-pointer by De Ocampo, who sealed the win for his club, 97-83, with 1:36 to go in the game.

De Ocampo tied a career-high with 33 points on 14-of-20 shooting. Castro was awarded the Best Player of the Conference award prior to the game and put up 25 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds. Fonacier contributed 10 points and 5 boards, while import Ivan Johnson had 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Wayne Chism was limited by foul trouble after picking up his fourth foul with 9 minutes remaining in the second period. The Best Import of the Conference finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds but shot just 2-of-10 from the floor.

“We just lost Wayne for too many minutes. We couldn’t play him because he got called for his fourth foul very early. And the last foul he got called for was a really ticky-tacky foul,” Guiao said.

“We tried to hold on with the absence of Wayne and for a while we did a good job. But for sure the other team at some point of the game is going to take advantage.”

“Chism not being able to play the minutes… [it] made an effect,” Uichico said.

“The game was still close even though he was sitting on the bench.”

Paul Lee also struggled as he missed 10 of his 16 shot attempts, but did put up 17 points. Tiu led Rain or Shine with a career-high 21 points, while Raymond Almazan scored 8 markers in the first period and finished with 13 points to go with 10 rebounds.

Jeff Chan missed game 4 due to his lingering leg injury.

Talk ’N Text shot 47% from the field and connected on 39% of their attempts from downtown. They also limited their turnovers to 9 and took advantage of 11 RoS miscues that translated to 16 points.


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, Cruz Jervy 4, Uyloan 3, Norwood 3, Belga 2, Quinahan 2, Cruz Jericho 0

Quarter Scoring: 17-16, 42-41, 74-66, 99-92



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