The Talk N Text Tropang Texters dealt erstwhile unbeaten Barako Bull Energy Cola its first defeat by carving out an 80-75 victory in the 2015 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Feb. 13, Friday.
Jayson Castro led the Tropang Texters with 16 points – scoring six in the final six minutes – two assists and two steals. Matt Ganuelas-Rosser also had a solid outing with 15 points and seven boards.
The two teams are now tied for second place with identical 3-1 slates behind league leaders Purefoods (4-0) and Meralco (4-0) who are both still unbeaten.
The other teams include the GlobalPort Batang Pier (2-2), the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (2-2), the Alaska Aces (1-2), Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (1-2), Blackwater Elite (1-3), Kia Carnival (1-3), the NLEX Road Warriors (0-3) and the San Miguel Beermen (0-3).
Talk N Text coach Jong Uichico said he was far from satisfied with his team’s play.
”We still have to get better,” said Uichico. ”We have to find a way to score more.”
The Tropang Texters relied on defense and steady offensive plays down the stretch to earn the bounce back victory.
From a 69-all tie, with under seven minutes left, Talk ‘N Text, led by Castro, exploded a 7-1 run in the next three minutes to grab a 76-70 advantage with 3:31 remaining after Larry Fonacier’s triple.
The Energy Colas hung around and made it a one possession game, 76-73, after Solo Alabi’s two free throws with 2:27 remaining.
Castro drained a dagger of a triple with 2:02 left that pushed Talk ‘N Texts lead back to six, 79-73, and seal the win.
Richard Howell had a double-double with 11 points and 18 rebounds while Willie Miller also got in the act with 13 points off the bench for the Texters.
Barako Bull had several chances in the final minute to close the gap but consecutive misses by JC Intal and RR Garcia prevented the Colas from threatening.
Alabi was dominant with 21 points and 24 rebounds but it was not enough to power Barako Bull to victory.
TALK N TEXT 80 – Castro 16, Rosser 15, Miller 13, De Ocampo 11, Howell 11, Fonacier 10, Alas 4, Washington 0, Carey 0, Labagala 0, Espiritu 0, Reyes R. J. 0, Aban 0.
BARAKO 75 – Alabi 21, Lastimosa 16, Pascual 12, Garcia 8, Intal 7, Lanete 5, Wilson 4, Marcelo 2, Chua 0, Salvador 0, Hubalde 0, Salva 0, Paredes 0, Sorongon 0.
Quarter scores: 25-19, 47-37, 62-59, 80-75.
Game Today (Dipolog City)
5 p.m. – Purefoods vs. Rain or Shine