MANILA, Philippines—Barako Bull drew throwback performances from its veterans to pull off a convincing 84-77 win over Talk ‘N Text Tuesday night for a 1-0 headstart in their best-of-five semifinals series of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo, Rizal.
Danny Seigle channeled his old explosive self as he erupted for 19 points while big man Dorian Peña gave Barako that much-needed interior presence that also came with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Import Gabe Freeman did much of his damage in the first half and finished with a team-high 21 points.
The Tropang Texters led by as much as nine in the first half and seven in the third but Barako Bull just wouldn’t go away.
The Energy swung the momentum in their favor sparked by the play of Seigle and back-to-back treys from Wynne Arboleda that gave them a 73-62 advantage with 8:13 left.
The Texters put up one last push and moved to within five, 75-80, on a Larry Fonacier triple at the two-minute mark of the fourth.
But Barako Bull held its ground and would hit its free-throws. Mick Pennisi sank both freebies with 36 ticks left that set the final count.
Jayson Castro’s 27 points paced TNT, which didn’t draw enough offensive production from its usual hitters.
Reigning MVP Jimmy Alapag was held scoreless, imports Donnell Harvey only had nine while Ranidel de Ocampo, Jared Dillinger and Ryan Reyes combined for just 16 points.
Both teams meet again on Thursday at the same venue.