JAYSON Castro and Larry Fonacier joined hands in delivering the telling blows in the final period as Talk ‘N Text dealt Barako Bull its first loss in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup, 80-75, on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After blowing a 10-point lead early in the second half, Castro and Fonacier, key players in the silver medal-winning Gilas team in the 2013 Fiba Asia men’s championships, combined for three triples in the last six minutes to get Talk 'N Text over the hump.
The 5-foot-7 Castro’s top-of-the-key three-pointer midway through the final period shattered the last deadlock at 69-all.
Fonacier added another three-pointer several possessions later, before Castro's trey going into the final two minutes gave Talk ‘N Text a a 79-73 lead.
Barako Bull had every opportunity to make a last stand, but JC Intal and RR Garcia missed a combined three driving layup attempts from there, allowing Talk ‘N Text to tie its victim for joint second place with their 3-1 record.
Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico, however, was far from satisfied, citing some defensive lapses in the second half along with an offense that struggled to put enough points on the board to put away Barako Bull.
“We still have to work on (defense). And we also have to get more points on the boards,” said Uichico.
The Tropang Texters shot just 36 percent from the floor, while giving up a whopping 50 points in the paint against the Energy who were led by seven-foot import Solomon Alabi’s 21 points.
Six Talk ‘N Text players though scored in double-figures led by Castro 16 points and rookie forward Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, who added 15.
Former Barako Bull guard Willie Miller came off the bench to add 13 points. Ranidel de Ocampo and Howell added 11 apiece, while Fonacier had 10.
Talk 'N Text 80 - Castro 16, Rosser 15, Miller 13, De Ocampo 11, Howell 11, Fonacier 10, Alas 4, Washington 0, Carey 0, Labagala 0, Espiritu 0, Reyes R. J. 0, Aban 0.
Barako Bull 75 - Alabi 21, Lastimosa 16, Pascual 12, Garcia 8, Intal 7, Lanete 5, Wilson 4, Marcelo 2, Chua 0, Salvador 0, Hubalde 0, Salva 0, Paredes 0, Sorongon 0.