TALK ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico rued Ivan Johnson’s early foul trouble affected his first half production in the Tropang Texters’ 100-94 loss to Purefoods in Game One of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series.
Johnson finished with 33 points on 13-of-27 shooting, including three three-point conversions in 41 minutes, but the former Atlanta Hawk’s impact was only felt in the second half after picking up three early fouls in the first two quarters.
The foul trouble situation limited him to just five points as he missed six of his eight shots, including all three triples in 18 minutes of play in the first half.
“We have to give credit also to their (Hotshots’) defense, but he was saving his fouls also,” Uichico said.
Johnson was foul-free in the second half, where he fired 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting in leading a Talk ‘N Text comeback that fell short.
On the other hand, Purefoods counterpart, Denzel Bowles heated up from the get-go, scoring 29 points in 20 minutes in the first two periods on the way to a league career-best 49-point output.
“Bowles got going early. He made his shots early that gave him the confidence he needed throughout the game,” Uichico said. “They got their momentum.”
“But it’s a series,” he was quick to add as the Tropang Texters seek for the equalizer in Game Two on Monday. “You make your adjustments and see what happens.”