Talk ‘N Text's championship poise came to the fore in the face of a furious late-game rally by Petron as it pulled off a momentum-building 100-93 triumph in Game One of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal series on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Despite getting a mediocre performance from foul-plagued import Jerome Jordan, the Tropang Texters drew firepower from locals like Ranidel de Ocampo, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Larry Fonacier and Ryan Reyes to turn the game around after trailing, 55-60 midway through the third canto.
Reyes, Talk ‘N Text’s defensive ace, banged in the game-clinching three-pointer with 26.4 seconds remaining after de Ocampo made a big play of his own, keeping the ball alive by stripping Petron import Henry Sims of possession after a missed free throw by the Texters.
The Tropang Texters go for the clincher in Game Two of the best-of-three playoff on Sunday.
“We were fortunate in this game because the second team held the fort for us. Our import and Ranidel were in foul trouble with four fouls early in the fourth quarter,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black.
Black couldn’t hide his displeasure over the seven-foot Jordan’s anemic performance as the giant Talk ‘N Text import only finished with 11 points and five rebounds.
“We still have a huge problem in rebounding. We got killed in the rebounding department again. And five rebounds (for Jordan) is not very good. Luckily our locals stepped up,” he added.
De Ocampo led the way with 22 points, while Reyes and Larry Fonacier chipped in 16 and 14 points, respectively, as the Texters beat Petron for the ninth time in their last 10 meetings dating back to last season.
Petron got 22 points and 21 rebounds from import Henry Sims, while Marcio Lassiter and June Mar Fajardo chipping in 17 and 13 points.
Talk ‘N Text 100 - De Ocampo 22, Reyes 16, Fonacier 14, Jordan 11, Castro 11, Peek 11, Al-Hussaini 8, Alapag 3, Dillinger 2, Carey 2
Petron 93 - Sims 22, Lassiter 17, Fajardo 13, Tubid 11, Miranda 9, Santos 8, Cabagnot 7, Washington 4, Lutz 2, Pena 0
Quarter scores: 21-19, 41-41, 72-69, 100-93