Castro to the rescue as Texters nip KingsBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Jason Castro scored Talk ‘N Text’s last six points and carried the Tropang Texters to a high-wire 113-111 victory over Barangay Ginebra last night in the PBA Governors’ Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With their third straight victory, the Texters—who opened with a 1-3 card—are knocking at the semifinals’ door while denying the Gin Kings the chance to win back-to-back games for the first time and become the third team to make the playoffs.
“We are just looking to get better as a team,” coach Chot Reyes said when reminded of his winning streak.
Ginebra dropped to an even 4-4 slate despite getting 32 points each from Mark Caguioa and import Cedric Bozeman.
The Gin Kings get their last chance for outright qualification on Friday when they battle Barako Bull.
Paul Harris, yanked out of the game early by Reyes for blowing his defensive assignment and allowing the Kings to race to a 14-4 start, still topscored for the Texters with 30. All but two of those came in the final three periods.
Talk ‘N Text actually held a 103-90 lead heading into the final five minutes before Caguioa and Bozeman moved the Kings closer.
Ginebra had a chance to knot it all up, having possession with 24 seconds to go and the score at 111-108, but Caguioa missed a keyhole jumper, leading to two Castro free throws with 9.7 seconds remaining.
Earlier, Meralco import Mario West shot all but two of his 29 points in the first three periods before clamping down on Gary David and leading the Bolts to a 91-78 win over Powerade.
Solomon Mercado scored all of his 15 points when the Bolts broke away in the fourth quarter as Meralco won consecutive games for the first time in the tournament and climbed to 4-4.
“I told Mario, ‘Gary is not better than Tyreke (Evans), he’s not better than Dwyane (Wade), and he’s definitely not better than LeBron (James),’” Gregorio said.
“Those are the players he used to guard in the NBA.”
David scored just two points in the fourth quarter and was practically handcuffed by West at the height of the Bolts’ breakaway.
The defeat was Powerade’s second straight and dropped it to 4-4, still a win shy of the playoffs.
“We knew all along that if we wanted to defeat Powerade, it would be with our lock-down defensive mentality,” Gregorio continued.
MERALCO 91—West 29, Mercado 15, Cardona 15, Hugnatan 14, Taulava 7, Bulawan 6, Macapagal 3, Ross 2, Reyes 0.
POWERADE 78—Sneed 23, David 20, Guevarra 12, Casio 6, Al-Hussaini 4, Belasco 4, Anthony 3, Lingganay 2, Salvador 2, Adducul 2, Vanlandingham 0, Tugade 0.
Quarters: 21-24, 43-42, 68-66, 91-78
TALK ‘N TEXT 113—Harris 30, De Ocampo 21, Fonacier 19, Castro 18, Aguilar 10, Alapag 5, Reyes 3, Williams 3, Aban 2, Peek 2.
GINEBRA 111—Bozeman 32, Caguioa 32, Ababou 7, Wilson W. 7, Helterbrand 7, Hatfield 7, Cortez 6, Canaleta 4, Villanueva 4, Maierhofer 3, Raymundo 2, Menk 0.
Quarters: 27-24, 54-47, 83-78, 113-111