TALK ‘N Text silenced import Allen Durham with its suffocating inside defense while Jason Castro, Nino Canaleta and Ranidel de Ocampo waxed hot from afar to knock off Barako Bull, 99-84 and advance to the PBA Governors Cup semifinals on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Beaten black and blue in their elimination-round meeting against Durham and Barako Bull, the Tropang Texters wouldn’t have none of that in the quarterfinal match, relying on excellent ball movement and accurate three-point sniping to rev up their offense in the second half.
The Energy managed to keep up with the Texters and even led by nine points, 56-47 midway through the third quarter before Talk ‘N Text unleashed a crippling 26-9 blitz to end the third period with a 73-65 lead.
From there, the Texters kept firing away from the outside with Canaleta accounting for three of the team’s four three-pointers in the final period to put the game beyond reach.
“It’s a great team effort from our side. We had contributions from almost everybody, so we don’t have to rely on (import) Paul Harris,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black after his team avenged its 74-88 elimination-round loss to Barako Bull last week.
Durham led Barako Bull with 25 points but was completely taken out of the equation by Talk ‘N Text’s defense in the final period, leading to another quick playoff exit for the Energy under new coach Siot Tanquingcen.
Black was full of praise for Canaleta, who he called the 'Talk ‘N Text killer' for all the times he played well against the Texters. On Tuesday Canaleta scored 25 points, 17 in the second half, including six three-pointers.
Harris added 24, 14 rebounds, three assists and three steals. Jason Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo added 16 and 14, respectively for the Texters.
“Today, the guy who stepped up was KG. He had an exceptional shooting night. When we play Air21, I always tell him, he’s a Talk ‘N Text killer. But that’s why I traded for him,” added the former PBA grand slam coach.
Talk 'N Text 99 - Canaleta 25, Harris 24, Castro 16, De Ocampo 14, Williams 7, Fonacier 4, Alapag 3, Reyes Ryan 2, Baclao 2, Carey 2, Aban 0, Reyes Jai 0, Espiritu 0.
Barako Bull 84 - Durham 25, Jensen 17, Miranda 12, Pennisi 11, Fortuna 6, Wilson 5, Miller 4, Marcelo 4, Deutchman 0, Intal 0.
Quarterscores: 16-17, 41-43, 73-65, 99-84