Texters, Llamados break 1-1 impasse tonight
Talk ‘N Text and B-Meg break their 1-1 tie in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup title series tonight with both squads conceding that a momentary lapse in concentration could spell the difference between victory and defeat.
The defending champion Tropang Texters pounced on several lapses by the Llamados Wednesday night to square the best-of-seven series. Talk ‘N Text gave B-Meg the headstart by missing 21 free throws and losing by six in the opener.
Game 3 is set at 6:45 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, with the Llamados expected to come up with some adjustments in hopes of countering the Texters’ solid finish in Game 2.
Still, the game will all boil down to execution, especially at the crunch.
B-Meg bungled several opportunities on Wednesday to lose a five-point lead with 1:38 to go.
Coach Tim Cone tried very hard to be diplomatic about the whole thing, not blaming his superstar players for the errors and asking them to just move on.
“We missed that hurried shot by James (Yap); Denzel (Bowles) threw the ball away. It’s over and done with, we’ll get refocused,” Cone said. “We shot ourselves in the foot, they stole the game from us and that makes you feel bad.”
Talk ‘N Text took care of the ball better in Game 2, committing just seven turnovers compared to the 20 it had last Sunday. And there was also Jason Castro, who almost singlehandedly kept the Texters’ heads above water in the final half.
Cone would have to find an antidote for the 5-foot-10 dynamo, who shone despite playing through pain in both ankles.
Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes also had his share of harrowing moments Wednesday night, continuously exhorting his charges to stay focused.
“In a series between two evenly matched teams, it will always boil down to one possession,” Reyes said.
Talk ‘N Text was a far better team than the one that showed up for the series opener, and the only reason why the Texters were never able to blow the Llamados off the floor in Game 2 was because of Yap, who played his best offensive game of the tournament.
Yap, though, threw up that hurried running jumper with a lot of time left and the Llamados trailing by just one.
Bowles, a cinch to win the Best Import award, also had his missed chances. He blew three wide-open shots and issued an ill-advised outlet pass to Peter June Simon when he could have called for time and set up a potential go-ahead play.
“I’m still proud of my guys because we overcame a lot (tonight),” Cone said in referring to a 14-point deficit that stared his Llamados in the face in the first half. “We had the game under control but just couldn’t get that last basket.”