RAIN or Shine turned to Javee Mocon and two-time MVP James Yap to bring down Talk N Text, 80-74, and complete the quarterfinal cast in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
Mocon scored 16 points, including pressure-packed free throws in the final 20 seconds, as the Elasto Painters caught the last bus to the eight-team quarterfinals with their sixth win against four losses.
Yap, nicknamed “Big Game James“, also finished with 16 points — all in the first half — in his return from injury.
Yap also made history with four three-point shots, tying Ronnie Magsanoc at third place in the PBA all-time three-point list with 1,171.
Veterans Beau Belga (12 points), Mike Borboran (10 points) and Gabe Norwood (nine points, five rebounds) also played well for Rain or Shine, which eliminated NLEX from playoff contention with still one game left
Rain or Shine joins Barangay Ginebra, Talk N Text, Phoenix Super LPG, San Miguel Beer, Alaska Milk, Meralco and Magnolia in the next round.
NLEX was eliminated along with Blackwater, NorthPort and Terrafirma.
“There’s still a possibility of us ending in the Top Four. We’ll go for it tomorrow against Phoenix. Susubukan namin kunin,” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia.
“We don’t know the quotient that they (Tropang Giga) need but I told the boys we have to be the hungrier team. It gave us the opportunity that we’re able to grab,” added Garcia.
Garcia was particularly impressed by Yap’s efforts in 26 minutes of play.
“James treated this game as a playoff game. I think he understands the situation,” said Garcia. “Now I have to ask him how he feels. If he wants to play ymtomorrow or if he wants to rest for the next round.”
Troy Rosario finished with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Poy Erram had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Tropang Giga, who played minus Jayson Castro.
Ray Parks had 11 points, including a booming triple that levelled the score at 72-all.
The score was tied for the last time at 74-all with 58 seconds left after a basket by Erram.
But a free throw by Norbert Torres and a wide-open layup by Kris Rosales put the E-Painters ahead, 77-74.
Rosario was then whistled for an offensive foul.
Rain or Shine (80) — Yap 16, Mocon 16, Belga 12, Borboran 10, Norwood 9, Rosales 6, Ponferada 5, Torres 4, Onwubere 1, Arana 1, Nambatac 0, Wong 0, Tolentino 0.
Talk N Text (74) — Rosario 18, Erram 14, Parks 11, Enciso 9, Pogoy 9, Vosotros 6, Washington 4, Semerad 3, Carey 0, De Leon 0, Alejandro 0, Montalbo 0, Flores 0.
Quarterscores: 13-19, 43-38, 67-57, 80-74.