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Barako stuns TNT

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Game Saturday
(Angeles City)
5 p.m. – Brgy. Ginebra vs Blackwater

Sometimes one labors in obscurity for 12 seasons before getting his first 20-20 game.

Blue collar forward William Wilson finally earned one to show for his long, hard work, scoring 28 points and grabbing 20 rebounds to power Barako Bull past the TNT Tropang Texters in overtime, 105-98, yesterday in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The upset loss sent TNT to its third setback in seven games for fifth place, dimming somewhat the Tropang Texters’ bid for a top two slot and an outright semifinal berth after the elimination.

The Energy, meanwhile, improved to 4-4 and grabbed a share of sixth spot with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the NLEX Road Warriors, keeping alive their hopes of a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinal playoffs.

Wilson, 35, shot 10 of 18 from the field and had 15 points in the third quarter and 5 in the extra period after his scoring tandem RR Garcia went down with a suspected dislocated shoulder two minutes into overtime.

Rookie Moala Tautuaa led TNT with 20 points while Jayson Castro and neophyte Troy Rosario added 19, with Rosario sending the game to the extra five minutes, 97-all, with two free throws in the last 15 seconds of regulation.

Garcia, who had 22 points before injury struck, was unstoppable in the fourth quarter where he strung 10 straight points. His two charities in overtime gave Barako Bull a 99-97 lead with 3:36 left.

Then with 2:43 to go, Garcia fouled Jayson Castro as the TNT star point guard was taking a jumper and appeared to have strained something as he grabbed his right wrist after the contact with Castro.

As it turned out, it was his right shoulder which Garcia apparently pulled and he was holding on to his wrist only to immobilize his entire arm.

“We’ve yet to know the extent of his injury; I hope it’s nothing serious,” said Barako Bull coach Koy Banal.

The game went through 14 deadlocks and 20 lead changes, with the Energy taking advantage of 19 TNT turnovers which gave Barako Bull 15 points. Wilson’s board work also inspired a 68-41 dominance in rebounds, with JC Intal hauling down 14 and Mick Pennisi 8.

No TNT player had double-figure rebounding, with Harvey Carey and Rosario each collaring nine. Carey committed six errors to compound the Texters’ lethargy under the glass.

Mentioned to TNT coach Jong Uichico that his team seemed to lack energy, the Texters mentor replied, “I know,” refusing to say more.

Although the Texters were right there in the thick of it through most part of the tight second half, their top three scorers – Tautuaa, Castro and Rosario — combined for one point in overtime.

Castro’s free throw cut Barako Bull’s lead, 99-98, but Wilson scored on a putback and split his charities to make it 102-98.

Still TNT was up for a closing fightback before a weird three-point sequence went Barako Bull’s way. JC Intal hit a free throw but missed the second. Tautuaa, trying to deflect the ball away from the rim, succeeded instead to having it drop in, however, for a two-point basket that was credited to the guy closest to him – Wilson.

His points-rebounds output was a career high for Wilson, as with TNT guard Ryan Reyes’ 501st steal and Tautuaa’s 20-point production.