Jayson Castro provided starter’s numbers off the bench as Talk N Text routed Barako Bull, 109-89, on Wednesday night to boost their semifinal hopes in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The spitfire guard fired 23 points, including 13 in the first quarter, to lead the Texters to their second straight win and third overall against three losses.
“Jason was a spark off the bench,” Texters coach Chot Reyes said. “Dami niya talaga nagagawa para sa amin.”
Four other Texters scored in double figures, with Paul Harris, Larry Fonacier, Ranidel de Ocampo, and Ali Peek contributing 21, 20, 11, and 10 markers, respectively.
Japeth Aguilar had two electrifying dunks in the second half and finished with eight points.
The Texters led throughout the game unlike in their last outing against Alaska where they almost wasted a 20-point cushion before escaping with an 80-72 win.
“I think we played much better today,” Reyes said. “We played 48 minutes of good basketball. Last game we screwed up the last eight minutes.”
After starting the conference 1-3, the Texters are now back in stride and on pace to make the next round. The last time they missed the playoffs was in the 2009 Fiesta Conference.
“The long layoff gave us a chance to practice, but we still have a long climb,” Reyes said.
They are still without key players in the most crucial phase of the tournament.
Reyes described Ryan Reyes’ knees as still “weak”, while Jared Dillinger is still a few weeks away from returning.
“I’m just trying to make do with what I have,” Reyes said.
Willie Miller had 25 points, eight boards and five assists to lead Barako Bull, while import Leroy Hickerson added 20.
Danny Seigle was back after being sidelined with a calf injury to score 18 points and grab nine rebounds.
The Energy lost their second straight game and dropped to 3-4.
TALK N' TEXT 109 - Castro 23, Harris 21, Fonacier 20, De Ocampo 11, Peek 10, Aguilar 8, Aban 7, Alapag 5, Williams 4, Gamalinda 0.
BARAKO BULL 89 - Miller 25, Hickerson 20, Seigle 18, Tubid 9, Allado 6, Kramer 5, Najorda 4, Cruz 2, Vergara 0, Sharma 0.
Quarterscores: 31-23, 59-45, 85-72, 109-89