BARAKO Bull sustained its surprising Smart-Bro PBA Philippine Cup campaign, stunning Talk ‘N Text, 105-98, in overtime to inch closer to a quarterfinal berth at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Energy overcame and early deficit, stood toe to toe with the Tropang Texters the rest of regulation, before showing the killer’s instinct in the extra session to register a fourth victory in eight games that moved them a half-game behind their victims.
Willie Wilson put up a dominant performance with career-highs of 28 points and 20 boards, while RR Garcia added 22 points in 26 minutes before going out with a shoulder injury for the Energy, who snapped a two-game skid.
“I’ve been emphasizing the need of a sense of urgency to bounce back,” Energy coach Coy Banal said. “From start to finish, they showed it.”
The desire to win was most evident in the extra session where the Energy outscored the Texters, 8-1, scoring the game’s last six points and holding the Texters scoreless in the last two minutes and 43 seconds.
Jayson Castro's split from the line was the Texters' only point in extra time.
Mo Tautuaa also registered a career-high 20 points, along with five boards, and four assists, but this year’s top rookie pick unintentionally scored an own goal after a missed free throw by JC Intal that gave Barako even more breathing room in OT.
Troy Rosario added 19 markers, the last one on a free throw that knotted the count at 97, while Castro also had 19, but the superstar guard missed a jumper that could’ve won the game for the Texters in regulation.
Ryan Reyes chipped in six points, eight boards, six assists, and two steals that increased his career tally to 501, enabling him to join the league’s 500 steals club.
BARAKO 105 – Wilson 28, Garcia 22, Intal 12, Fortuna 10, Baracael 9, Brondial 7, Lanete 6, Miranda 6, Urbiztondo 3, Monfort 2, Pennisi 0, Caperal 0
TNT 98 – Tautuaa 20, Castro 19, Rosario 19, Carey 8, Williams 8, Miranda 7, Rosser 6, Reyes R. 6, Fonacier 5, Reyes J. 0, Seigle 0
Quarterscores: 19-27, 44-43, 78-75, 97-97, 105-98