Castro saves Texters; Painters thwart Aces | Inquirer Sports
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Castro saves Texters; Painters thwart Aces

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 01:50 AM February 21, 2015
NLEX import Al Thornton is challenged by the TNT double team of Ranidel de Ocampo and Ivan Johnson in last night’s game. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

NLEX import Al Thornton is challenged by the TNT double team of Ranidel de Ocampo and Ivan Johnson in last night’s game. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

JASON Castro saved Talk ‘N Text from an embarrassing implosion by burying the game-winning jumper at the buzzer to nip NLEX, 98-96, last night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Tropang Texters lost a 29-point lead in the second quarter by shooting a total of just 33 points in the final two periods and were staring at overtime until Castro, playing hero for the second straight game, buried a long jumper over the outstretched arms of NLEX’s Jonas Villanueva and Rudy Lingganay.

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It was the third straight win in a 5-1 card for the Texters, whose new import, Ivan Johnson, scored 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a respectable debut.

The loss was the fourth in five games for the Road Warriors, who equalized at 96 going into the final 7.9 seconds with an Al Thornton free throw following a technical foul assessed on Larry Fonacier for calling a timeout that Talk ‘N Text didn’t have.

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Talk ‘N Text actually had a 96-93 lead with still 5:05 left, only to go scoreless until that Castro basket.

That illegal call for time by Fonacier was actually preceded by a tap of the inbounds pass by Lingganay off Castro. Jonas Villanueva picked up the loose ball that resulted after the scramble, but threw it to Fonacier after nearly losing his footing in the baseline.

Fonacier, off-balanced when he picked off Villanueva’s save, called a timeout, resulting in the technical foul.

“We need to do a good job [finishing games],” Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico said.

Castro finished with 16 points.

In the second game, Rain or Shine improved to 4-2 after a 99-89 win over Alaska.

Meanwhile, for calling boxing icon Manny Pacquiao a “joke” of a basketball player on Wednesday night, Purefoods import Daniel Orton was slapped a P250,000 fine yesterday by the Office of the Commissioner.

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In a Petron Saturday Special game today, Meralco seeks to remain perfect when it battles San Miguel Beer at Xavier University gym in Cagayan de Oro.  Game time is 5 p.m.

The scores:

First Game

TALK ‘N TEXT 98—Johnson 32, Castro 16, De Ocampo 13, Miller 9, Rosser 9, Carey 6, Aban 5, Alas 4, Fonacier 2, Reyes R.J. 2.

NLEX 96—Thornton 37, Villanueva J. 13, Ramos 10, Cardona 9, Canaleta 8, Taulava 6, Arboleda H. 5, Villanueva E. 3, Baloria 3, Lingganay 2, Hermida 0, Arboleda W. 0, Borboran 0.

Quarters: 32-19, 65-40, 89-71, 98-96

Second Game

RAIN OR SHINE 99—Chism 24, Chan 18, Norwood 14, Tiu 11, Uyloan 9, Belga 9, Cruz 6, Arana 3, Almazan 3, Tang 2, Ibanes 0, Quinahan 0.

ALASKA 89—James 28, Baguio 12, Manuel 11, Abueva 10, Hontiveros 9, Jazul 8, Casio 5, Exciminiano 4, Menk 2, Eman 0, Banchero 0, Espinas 0, Dela Rosa 0, Dela Cruz 0.

Quarters: 26-16, 48-39, 67-63, 99-89

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TAGS: 96, Aces, Talk N Text, Texters
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