MANILA, Philippines—Talk ’N Text played catch-up the entire fourth quarter, but Ryan Reyes was there to give the Texters their final lead with 14.3 seconds left.
Reyes uncorked a go-ahead trey from the left corner to help Talk ’N Text squeeze past Alaska, 66-65, in game one of the 2012 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Very difficult win, but we’re happy because we grinded it out in the end,” said head coach Norman Black. “We could’ve given up, but we grinded it out in the end.”
Black admits the play wasn’t exactly designed for Reyes, but the ball ending up on his hands was a product of good ball movement.
“The ball wasn’t for Ryan, but the good thing was he was able to step up and take the shot.”
And the Texters have Castro, who made up for botching four straight free throws early in the quarter, to thank for it.
Castro, after missing a trey seconds before, drove to the lane then kicked it out to Reyes—who made his only trey of the night after four tries.
Castro had 17 points, 11 rebounds and two assists while Ranidel de Ocampo added 11 points and six boards.
It wasn’t a good night on the offensive end overall for Talk ’N Text, but Black had all praises for his squad’s defense.
“Happy how we played our defensive scheme,” said Black, as his squad managed to thwart Alaska’s final attempt.
With Castro shadowing Alaska’s guard, JVee Casio—who usually takes and makes clutch buckets—didn’t have the space to get off a shot.
Instead, Casio passed it off to Tony de la Cruz, who misfired on a jumper inside the arch that could’ve given the Aces the win.
Alaska failed to close out the win, despite leading for the entire fourth quarter after a stifling 13-0 run toward the end of the third sparked by Calvin Abueva.
Sonny Thoss had 14 points, RJ Jazul added 11 on three treys, and Abueva finished with 10 points and 17 boards despite going scoreless in the first 34 minutes of the game.