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Castro returns as Talk ‘N Text clinches third win with crushing over NLEX



The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters got the services of star point guard Jayson Castro once more in their 108-89 drubbing against the NLEX Road Warriors in the Cuneta Astrodome on Tuesday evening.

A tight first ten minutes of action was showcased by the two teams as no squad led by no more than four points in the stretch. Larry Fonacier made two successive perimeter jumpers that were countered quickly by the interior duo of Kwame Alexander and Asi Taulava. In the 4:46 mark of the first, Jayson Castro also made his return to the lineup for the first time since Game 7 of last tournament’s finals series. Castro led the charge late in the first quarter as him and the rest of TNT’s bench made a 15-2 rampage late in the first to end the opening frame up by double digits.

With mostly the second unit players fielded in for both teams, Talk’ N Text held to a double-digit spread for half of the duration of the second quarter. Danny Siegle scored six points in the period while a jumpshot by Matt Ganuelas-Rosser helped the Texters erect a 15 point lead at 42-27. Off a timeout however, a quick 10-0 response was built by NLEX including two dunks by Alexander that helped swing the momentum back in their favor. While the Road Warriors started to make their perimeter shots slowly to claw their way back, Castro played to be the stabilizer as he hit timely shots to keep their opponents at bay.

Just before the second quarter buzzer sounded, Castro drained a triple that gave his team a baker’s dozen lead at the break. At that point, they were still shooting an impressive 56% and their bench players already accounting for 33 compared to NLEX’s two points.

The balance of offensive production continued for the Tropang Texters as they maintained the lead in the third period. With five minutes passing by the second half, Michael Madanly started making noise for the Road Warriors as he piled up the points to slice the lead down to single digits at 55-64. With the ageless Taulava still chipping in interior baskets, Madanly’s triple cemented a 14-0 run to make it a four point game with six minutes to go in the third.

Notwithstanding lost momentum, Ranidel De Ocampo and Jayson Castro once again scored on huge shots to extinguish the rally put up by the Road Warriors. They outscored NLEX 11-6 in the last four minutes of the period to once again reinstall a double-digit lead heading into the fourth.

In the fourth, a Taulava basket that made it an eight point game at 86-78 was the last hurrah for his squad as the lead once again ballooned to double digits as TNT blasted successive makes from the field. A sudden 16-6 scoring spurt aided the Texters build the comfortable margin to seal the game. Meanwhile, thinking quotient Ganuelas-Rosser and Sam Daghles provided the game’s exclamation point in the dying seconds with three more field goals.

Castro ended up scoring 19 points and had five boards and five assists as well. Steffphon Pettigrew tallied 26 markers to lead all scorers while shooting 12 out of 16 from the field in 36 minutes of playing time.

TNT improves to 3-1 record and ties Alaska and Kia at the second spot. On the other hand, NLEX drops to 1-4 and slides down to the cellar of the standings with the same slate as Blackwater.

The Road Warriors will next face Alaska on June 2, 4:15 at the Mall of Asia Arena while Talk ‘N Text’s next assignment will be against GlobalPort on May 29, 7pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The scores:

Talk ‘N Text(108) – Pettigrew 26, Castro 19, De Ocampo 12, Williams 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 10, Daghles 10, Fonacier 8, Carey 6, Seigle 6, Washington 0, Miller 0, Espiritu 0, Reyes 0

NLEX(89) – Taulava 25, Alexander 22, Madanly 22, Villanueva J. 10, Villanueva E. 4, Wilson 3, Borboran 3, Ramos 0, Cardona 0, Canaleta 0, Lingganay 0

Quarters: 27-18, 57-44, 80-70, 108-89

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