by Waylon Galvez
Defending champion Talk N’ Text survived agonizing moments in the overtime period to escape with a 114-111 victory over Alaska in the PLDT MyDSL PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jayson Castro scored a career-high 33 points while Jimmy Alapag hit six of his 20 points in the extra five-minute period as the Tropang Texters tied idle Rain or Shine for fourth spot with a 2-1 record.
TNT bounced back from a 77-63 loss to Petron Blaze last Saturday.
“We really struggled last game against Petron, and we know this game will be tough,” said TNT coach Norman Black. “It’s one of those games that we have to gut it out against a good team. We’re just trying to get our rhythm back, we got some injury issues.”
“But I’m happy for the guys, they didn’t give up. There are lots of things to improve on and get better. We’ll get ready for our next game against Globalport (Tuesday),” added Black, who got 18 points from Larry Fonacier and 15 markers from Harvey Carey.
Alaska took its last lead at 108-106 on a layup by Sonny Thoss before Castro and Alapag delivered.
Castro completed a three-point play off a foul by Aldrech Ramos before Alapag drained his third triple of the contest to give Talk N’ Text a 112-108 lead with 1:36 remaining in OT.
Alaska, which was aiming for a win that could have been a perfect birthday present to team governor and former team manager Joaqui Trillo, had chances of retaking the lead but failed to take advantage.
First was when Cyrus Baguio missed a jumper at the top of the key. After that, Aces reserve Leo Avenido stole the ball from Fonacier which led to Dondon Hontiveros being fouled by Harvey Carey, 15.6 ticks to play and the Aces down 112-111.
But Hontiveros uncharacteristically missed both charities, later allowing Kelly Williams to split his own foul shots for a 113-111 TNT edge.
Jvee Casio’s layup in the next play was short and Carey collared the rebound. Fouled by Baguio, Carey made the first foul shot but missed his second try. Thoss grabbed the rebound and feed Casio, whose 30-foot heave at the buzzer came way short.
Alaska suffered its second straight defeat and fell to 1-3 despite a career-best 22 points from Ramos. Thoss finished with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Hontiveros added 15 points, Casio had 13 markers and Gabby Espinas and Baguio contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Calvin Abueva fouled out with less than eight minutes to play in regulation for committing an offensive foul against Sean Anthony. He had 14 points and five rebounds.
Talk N’ Text’s free agent recruit Danny Seigle, who signed last a one-year contract last Tuesday, watched from the stands and Black said that the former San Miguel star will be activated in their next game against Globalport.
“I’m pretty sure he’ll be in the lineup, but I’m not sure who are we going to bring down since we have seven Fil-Ams,” said Black. “He’s fit, he’s in shape. The reason we brought him in is because of the injury issues we have. I don’t want to go into details but some players are playing injured.”
Talk N’ Text 114 – Castro 33, Alapag 20, Fonacier 18, Carey 15, Williams 7, Reyes 7, Poligrates 5, Peek 4, Anthony 3, Baclao 2, Celiz 0, Reyes 0.
Alaska 111 – Ramos 20, Thoss 16, Hontiveros 15, Abueva 14, Casio 13, Espinas 12, Baguio 10, Jazul 7, Dela Cruz 2, Eman 2, Avenido 0, Buenafe 0.
Quarters: 28-24, 50-48, 75-74, 103-103, 114-111
Ginebra 109 – Caguioa 29, Aguilar 18, Slaughter 17, Tenorio 15, Helterbrand 11, Ellis 6, Monfort 6, Ababou 3, Reyes 2, Urbiztondo 2, Baracael 0, Mamaril 0, Forrester 0.
GlobalPort 104 – Romeo 27, Washington 23, Garcia 20, Hayes 10, Mercado 10, Chua 8, Lingganay 3, Belencion 2, Salvador 1, Menk 0, Ponferrada 0, Najorda 0.
Quarters: 28-17, 56-38, 83-66, 109-104