Texters even Finals series
This time, it was Talk ‘N Text which made the most out of the opportunities that came its way.
The Tropang Texters squared their best-of-seven title series for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after a 104-102 nipping of the Llamados, who were the ones bungling golden chances last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Talk ‘N Text came back from five points down in the final 1:38 by hitting important free throws and watching the Llamados throw away several chances of taking what would have been a commanding 2-0 lead.
Ryan Reyes and Jimmy Alapag nailed a pair of freebies each inside the final 8.2 ticks and the defending champion Texters put the game away to tie the series at 1-all and take a positive vibe going into tomorrow’s crucial third game.
“They went up five, and I just told my players to relax,” Reyes said. “In a series between two evenly matched teams, it will boil down to the last possession. That’s just how it’s going to be.”
Jason Castro played through pain in both ankles and shot 23 points, 10 of them in the fourth period when the Llamados were busy trying to put the game in the bag.
Donnell Harvey had 29 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal that came off Denzel Bowles that proved to be the back-breaker as it led to those two Alapag free throws with 8.2 seconds remaining to 102-99.
Bowles grabbed the rebound after two missed free throws by Kelly Williams, but instead of calling a timeout, the youthful import tried to throw an outlet to PJ Simon which Harvey intercepted.
B-Meg seemed to have a lock on the game after Joe Devance drilled a tight jumper from the keyhole that made it 99-94 with 1:38 left, only for the Llamados offense to sputter when it truly mattered.
From there, the guys who gave the Llamados control for most of the night couldn’t buy the basket that would have put the Texters away.
“Bottom line was we shot ourselves in the foot. We had the game and they took the game from us,” B-Meg coach Tim Cone told reporters. “It makes it harder to swallow. The game was stolen from us. We had it under control.”
Cone went on to rattle off the chances that they fumbled, including one by James Yap who threw a rushed running jumper with the Llamados trailing by just one with still 20 seconds remaining.
“Sayang for us that we let that one go,” he said. “We devised it for James but the ball came a little late.”
TALK ‘N TEXT 104—Harvey 29, Castro 23, Reyes 13, Peek 12, Williams 8, Dillinger 6, De Ocampo 6, Fonacier 4, Alapag 3, Gamalinda 0, Carey 0.
B-MEG 102—Bowles 33, Yap 25, Urbiztondo 15, Simon 10, Pingris 9, Barroca 4, Devance 4, De Ocampo 2, Intal 0, Villanueva 0, Reavis 0.
Quarters: 24-16, 49-48, 73-75, 104-102