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Castro’s 31 helps Texters squeeze past Ginebra



The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters managed to pull off a 104-103 thriller after they escaped an intensely-fought match against the Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Ginebra erupted in the first half and built an early 17-point lead during the second period at 41-24 as the three-point baskets did not drop quite as expected for the Tropang Texters during the first minutes of the game. Greg Slaughter also delivered big off the bench during the second period as he and import Michael Dunigan combined to anchor the paint defense en route to denying inside stabs by Talk ‘N Text.

Talk ‘N Text started their surge late during the second quarter with back-to-back triples from Jayson Castro. The momentum carried on until the third quarter wherein they outscored the Kings by seven points to give them a four-point lead entering the fourth.

With 2:20 left in the ballgame, Kevin Alas nailed a huge jumper to give the Texters a 102-96 cushion which seemed like a luxury at that point due to the tightly-contested fourth quarter battle. Ginebra then countered on two straight defensive stops with Dunigan converting on two jumpers to make it a two-point game with less than a minute to play.

In the next play, Alas rimmed out his three-pointer but Mac Baracael missed his own leaving 9.2 seconds left in regulation and the score unchanged. After a quick ceasefire, a great cut by Ranidel de Ocampo enabled him to score off an inbound to make it a two-possession game. Down by four, Joseph Yeo scored on a big three-pointer while Talk ‘N Text committed a dangerous turnover afterwards. However, Castro denied the ball from Tenorio after the inbound to prevent Ginebra’s attempt at a game winner.

Castro ended the match with 31 points, six rebounds and nine assists. He also had three steals and six three-pointers to fill up the box score. Reinforcement Richard Howell dropped in 20 markers while also grabbing 17 rebounds.

For Ginebra, Dunigan led all scorers with 30 points and also had 18 rebounds and three blocked shots. Scoring for the locals was led by Baracael who tallied 20 points including five makes from downtown.

The victory gives the Texters a 4-1 record in the tournament while Ginebra drops to 3-2.

The scores:
Talk ‘N Text(104) – Castro 31, Howell 20, De Ocampo 17, Ganuelas-Rosser 15, Alas 7, Reyes 7, Fonacier 4, Miller 3, Washington 0, Carey 0.

Ginebra(103) – Dunigan 30, Baracael 20, Tenorio 14, Yeo 12, Caguioa 11, Slaughter 9, Mamaril 4, Monfort 3, Aguilar 0, Ellis 0.

Quarter scores: 20-28, 49-52, 79-75, 104-103

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