Rain or Shine succumbed to Talk ‘N Text in a rugged match that ejected three players – JR Quinahan, Jireh Ibanes, and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser. Although it was a bench-clearing incident, no free-for-all ensued (more on this later). TNT has now evened the finals series at two games apiece.

Ranidel de Ocampo (tied career-high of 33 points, 77.5 eFG%) and Jayson Castro (25 points, 54.8 eFG%) carried the scoring load for the Texters, while Ivan Johnson added 19 markers.

ROSvsTNT 150422

TNT’s defense

It was evident from the start that TNT’s defense would make a difference in this game. ROS was limited to only 16 points on a poor 7-for-20 field goal shooting in the opening quarter when they used to score an average of 27 points. To TNT’s advantage, the pace was significantly slower (from an average of 90 to 80.6 in this game). ROS could not push the ball and capitalize on their quickness as TNT’s transition defense was more polished this time.

Harvey Carey and Kelly Williams played significant minutes for Talk ‘N Text and they were instrumental in the team’s defensive adjustments. Carey was tasked to guard Paul Lee, while Williams (or RDO) took care of Rain or Shine’s bigs. That made it easier for them when they switch, unlike before when Castro or Aaron Aban ends up with huge opponents in the process of switching. Lee had to be more creative in setting up their offense with these adjustments.

Chism’s limited minutes

Wayne Chism got three personal fouls in the first six minutes of the game, and that early foul trouble would haunt ROS for the rest of the game. He was inserted back at the start of the second quarter when Johnson was on the bench, but he got whistled for another foul causing him not to see action until late in the third. At first, Rain or Shine held their own defensively, managing to limit TNT’s points in the paint despite the absence of their import. But it became uncontrollable in the pivotal third period when Johnson decided to be more aggressive in attacking the basket. It was also business as usual for RDO who overpowered the rim protectors of ROS and scored 13 points in Q3 alone, including a couple of dunks.

Tiu and Almazan stepping up

Offensively, it was a nightmare that Chism was gone for too long. He only had ONE point in the first half and a total of 13 points in the game when he used to average 32. It’s a good thing that Chris Tiu and Raymond Almazan, who both have been playing well in this series, stepped up their game even further. Tiu scored a career-high of 21 points on 90.2 percent true shooting (three triples and a perfect 6-for-6 from the line) and three assists. As star point guard Lee struggled in facilitating plays, Tiu and Jonathan Uyloan took the cue and led the way.

Almazan, on the other hand, have been working hard under the basket. He’s always there to clean up his teammates’ misses or to receive drop passes. He’s been helping Chism in the rebounding department, as well as in protecting the paint. He contributed 13 points, ten rebounds (six offensive), and a steal.

Three players ejected

Early in the fourth quarter, commotion ensued when Jireh Ibanes and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser had their shoving match end up with Rosser losing his jersey and Ibanes being pushed off the metal railing. JR Quinahan, upon seeing Ibanes down, threw the ball at Rosser’s face. I watched the replay of the altercation so many times and that part never failed to make me laugh because it was so… ridiculous. He could have confronted Rosser, but no, he just had to resort to throwing the ball right smack in Rosser’s face.

Johnson immediately ran and stood (and flexed his muscles haha) in the middle of Quinahan and Rosser. Quinahan assumed a fighting stance, with Coach Yeng Guiao right beside him and the whole ROS bench backing him up. No punches were thrown; only choice words. Quinahan got a flagrant foul penalty 2 that ejected him from the court. Ibanes and Rosser were also sent out for “fighting.”

After being summoned to the Commissioner’s Office, Quinahan was fined a total of PhP50,000 (PhP40K for throwing the ball and PhP10K for assuming a fighting stance) and suspended for one game. Penalties of PhP40K each were also meted out to Ibanes and Rosser.

Featured image courtesy of Czar Dancel, Spin PH