JAYSON Castro rescued Talk ‘N Text from the jaws of defeat, hitting a last-second jumper as the Tropang Texters nosed out a charging NLEX squad, 98-96 in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Tropang Texters let a 29-point lead slip away and allowed NLEX to knot the score at 96-all when Larry Fonacier called a timeout the team no longer with seven seconds remaining.
Castro, though, saved the day for the Tropang Texters when he drained a jumper off two defenders from just inside the three-point arc as the final buzzer sounded.
Talk ‘N Text’s fifth in six starts strengthened its grip of the second spot in the standings, but it was obvious coach Jong Uichico was far from happy with how the team cracked in the face of an NLEX rally.
“We didn’t do a good job of handling their (Road Warriors) comeback because we had some slips on our defense, so we (allowed) them score a lot of points,” said Uichico.
The Tropang Texters enjoyed their biggest lead at 59-30 on a three-pointer by Castro and entered the fourth period enjoying an 89-71 bubble before things unravalled in the homestretch.
Castro's game winner was only the third field goal of Talk 'N Text in the final quarter.
New import Ivan Johnson gave a good first impression after replacing reigning Best Import Richard Howell on Wednesday, finishing with 32 points and 10 rebounds.
However, the NBA veteran was slowed down by foul trouble in the fourth-quarter.
Castro finished with 16 points, four rebounds and three assists to win Best Player of the Game honors for the fourth time in five Talk 'N Text wins. Ranidel de Ocampo chipped in 13.
Meanwhile, Al Thornton's 37 points and 14 rebounds couldn't keep the Road Warriors from dropping to 1-4, in a tie with expansion team Blackwater Elite.