TALK ‘N Text survived Barako Bull’s furious second-half charge behind the heroics of Jason Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo to escape with an 87-80 overtime win and cement its hold of third spot in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Castro, last season’s Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference, scored six of his team-high 23 points in the extension period, while de Ocampo’s two key offensive rebounds and a top-of-the-key triple saved the three-time Philippine champion from what could have been an appalling endgame collapse.
The Texters are now 5-2 (win-loss).
“I’m not sure whether we found a solution to their (Energy’s) zone defense, but I’m just glad we won the game,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black, who nonetheless expressed his disappointment over the way his team squandered a 23-point second quarter lead.
Black felt the team’s energy went down in the second half, allowing Barako Bull to climb back from a huge hole and forge overtime behind JC Intal and Willie Miller.
Miller finished the game with a team-high 16 points but turned from hero to goat when he muffed three straight charities with a chance to tie the count after being fouled by Larry Fonacier late in extension period.
Mick Pennisi and JC Intal bungled their three-point attempts later, sealing the Energy’s sixth straight defeat after a 2-0 start.
Earlier, Talk ‘N Text appeared headed for an easy rout after taking a 39-19 halftime bubble despite the absence of veteran guard Jimmy Alapag, who had to sit out because of a strained groin muscle.
Barako Bull’s 19 first-half points equalled the ninth all-time lowest output scored in a half in league history. The all-time low is 12 points scored by Mobiline in an 85-62 loss to Alaska in Urdaneta, Pangasinan on May 23, 1998.
The 19-point output was also an all-time franchise low for Barako Bull.