The Barako Bull Energy Cola took full advantage against a Talk ‘N Text team, who played without their core players due to injury, as they notch a 100-87 wire-to-wire win and stay spotless after three games held at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The newly-acquired Dylan Ababou made his presence felt together with JC Intal as the UST-Ateneo tandem combined for 11 for their team’s first 13 markers while gaining a four point advantage. The Tropang Texters shot a majority of their opening attempts from the perimeter that were not on target in the first minutes of the game. On the other end, Barako Bull setup countless hi-low plays for their import, Liam McMorrow who scored on an and-one play to make it a seven point game.
The 7-foot 2” Energy Cola mammoth did a good job establishing himself down low, despite the multiple defenders tasked to front him. Even though five fast points by Kelly Williams off the bench for Talk ‘N Text helped cut the deficit, RR Garcia, Willie Wilson and Joseph Yeo each scored to make an 11-point affair to end the first quarter. The Tropang Texters, meanwhile, missed all of their six attempts during the last three minutes of the opening frame.
Willie Miller and Steffphon Pettigrew each drained a triple to start a 6-2 run for the Commissioner’s Cup title holders. Seeing their lead sliced, the Energy Cola kept on feeding their import in the paint as he delivered to make it a double-digit gap once again. Talk ‘N Text shot four triples during the period to counter massive baskets by Barako Bull in the interior. While Pettigrew sunk in a long distance shot to pull them within one at 31-30, the quick breather McMorrow received was sufficient enough to anchor his squad again and distance themselves from TNT.
McMorrow made three more hoops as he gave his team a 47-37 lift with a little over two minutes to go in the first half while also playing like there was no rim resistance. By the half, his squad was up by nine and at the same time, he has already posted 16 points, 13 rebounds stat line
The exchange of points went in favor of the Energy Cola during the first minutes of the second half. Five minutes into the third period, Miller and Pettigrew knocked down mid-ranged buckets to make it a 58-50 game, still in favor of Barako Bull. TNT’s chances of further reducing the deficit was thwarted by two straight turnovers after that stretch. Looking gassed, McMorrow still pushed his way offensively was he led a 9-2 run to make it a 71-54 game. Locals also made their way into the scoring column to aid the monstrous performance of their reinforcement. They outscored TNT by five during the period to head into the fourth up by 14 points.
Jay Washington opened up the fourth with two consecutive triples and score his team’s first six points that looked to be a good sign for a comeback for the Texters. However, Sam Daghles muffed consecutive perimeter shots that led to four straight points on the fast break for Barako and make it a 80-67 game. Almost everyone from TNT settled for three-pointers except Danny Siegle who kept on attacking the basket while drawing a foul to make it a single-digit game at 88-79. In the next plays, TNT’s baskets were answered with the Energy Cola’s own to maintain the comfortable lead they had and eventually win the game.
The win gave Barako Bull’s coach Koy Banal his first win against the Texters after five tries. They had more points in the paint, 52-30 and crashed more boards, 63-54. Energy also had more steals, 9-1 and committed less turnovers, 9-13.
McMorrow finished the night with 26 points and grabbed 28 boards. Ababou added 17 including three treys. Pettigrew paced TNT with 23 markers and 14 rebounds.
Barako Bull (100) – McMorrow 26, Ababou 17, Intal 14, Garcia 13, Yeo 12, Wilson 7, Pascual 6, Hubalde 5, Lastimosa 0, Chua 0, Maierhofer 0
Talk ‘N Text (87) – Pettigrew 23, Washington 14, Miller 11, Daghles 10, Fonacier 8, Williams 7, Seigle 7, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Reyes 3
Quarters: 25-14, 50-41, 73-59, 100-87