MANILA, Philippines — Outside of Jimmy Alapag, Talk ‘N Text was 0-of-22 from long range in the series against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel according to PBA head statistician Fidel Mangonon.
Until Ranidel de Ocampo buried a cold-blooded trey that gave the Tropang Texters a four-point cushion with only 33.7 ticks left en route to an all-important 85-79 Game 2 win over the Kings to tie their best-of-five semifinals series Sunday night.
“Today was a do-or-die game for us,” said TNT head coach Norman Black. “To go down 2-0 is a very difficult situation for us. There was a sense of urgency there.”
De Ocampo finished with 16 points in just 22 minutes due to foul trouble.
Only three teams out of 40 have been able to come back from 0-2 down and win the series and certainly, Black and his players knew the importance of knotting it up.
The Kings, who dominated Game 1, 104-81, led by nine, 68-59, after finishing the third quarter on a blistering pace.
The Texters though, responded with an even bigger run to start the fourth period.
TNT went on a 12-0 blast capped by a basket by Alapag to take a 71-68 lead, with 8:23 left. Josh Urbiztondo drilled in a long triple to put Ginebra back up, 75-73, before de Ocampo completed a three-point play that gave the lead back to the Texters for good, 76-75, with 4:33 remaining.
LA Tenorio missed on a baseline drive that would’ve put the Kings back up before de Ocampo sank the game-clinching triple.
Alapag iced the game with two free throws with only 21.3 ticks left.
“Just really happy that we decided to play defense tonight which is going to be key in this series. Unlike in our last game where our defense was sorely missed we came out with a lot of energy and intensity,” Black said.
Jayson Castro topscored with 22 points.