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Purefoods outlasts Talk ‘N Text in 3OT classic

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Another classic is in the books. The Purefoods Star Hotshots prevailed in the first triple overtime match of the year, leaning on import Denzel Bowles in crunch time to stop the ever dangerous Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, 118-117 in the USEP Gym in Davao.

Baskets from Denzel Bowles and James Yap gave Purefoods a 5-0 start after the opening buzzer, but Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Jayson Castro sank a couple of free throws in succession to force a deadlock, and open what would be a heated trade of baskets in the next minutes of play. Late in the quarter however, veteran sharpshooter Allein Maliksi exploded for back-to-back treys and nifty bucket to give Purefoods a 21-16 edge, coming from a 13-16 deficit earlier. At the end of the quarter, the Hotshots led 22-18.

Purefoods led by as many as six points early in the second quarter, but the Tropang Texters responded with a 6-0 run to force a 28-all deadlock with seven minutes left on the clock. It was Mark Barroca who doused the fire, nailing four straights points and helping the Hotshots take another two-possession lead, 32-28, just around the halfway mark of the quarter. A layup from TNT’s Castro forced another deadlock, 40-all, with just a minute left on the clock. But once again, the Star Hotshots wrestled back the momentum, scoring four straight points to pull away for another two-possession lead. At the half, Purefoods led 46-43.

The third quarter saw Purefoods hold on to the steady lead despite a spirited showing from the Tropang Texters. Around three minutes into the period, tempers flared on court when Purefoods big man, Marc Pingris, and Talk ‘N Text import, Ivan Johnson, figured in a near scuffle. Both Pingris and Johnson were slapped technical fouls for second motion. With around seven minutes left in the clock, TnT were within striking distance once more, when a triple from Castro and a mid-range jumper from Ranidel de Ocampo forced a 53-all deadlock. Joe Devance responded on the other end with a hook shot made, while drawing the foul, giving the Hotshots another three point lead. The Tropang Texters, however, continued to push for the lead, and with four and half minutes left, a dunk from their import, Johnson, gave TNT a 59-57 lead. The ensuing shootout in the last minutes of the quarter saw numerous deadlocks and lead changes. Back-to-back baskets from TNT rookie, Kevin Alas, in the final minute gave the Tropang Texters a 70-66 lead to end the third.

The fourth quarter opened to a continuation of the previous quarter’s shootout, with the two teams duking it out in another back-and-forth affair that saw lead change after lead change. But with a three minutes left to play, a seven-point flurry capped off by a fastbreak layup, off a steal, by Jayson Castro gave Talk ‘n Text their largest lead of the game thus far, 89-84. Purefoods’ Alex Mallari, however, proved to be all the spark the Hotshots needed, draining five straight points to force an 89-all deadlock just as the last two minute mark clocked in.

Larry Fonacier sank two free throws in the following minute to give Talk ‘N Text the two-point edge, but Mark Barroca responded on the other end to bring the ball game to a 91-all deadlock. Neither team could create in the following plays, and with 15 ticks left on the clock, the score was unchanged and possession with Talk ‘N Text. The ball found its way to import Johnson lurking on the wing, but the three-pointer just before the clock expired ended with the ball bouncing off the rim, seemingly sending the game into overtime. Officials however ruled that there was still 0.7 seconds left on the clock, with possession back to Purefoods. Regulation’s final sequence saw Pingris make a putback to salvage a bricked shot from Mark Barroca. Pingris’ putback, however, was ruled to have taken place after the buzzer, and the game, finally, was headed to the extra five minutes.

The overtime period saw another trade of baskets and leads, with neither team looking to lose momentum in the ball game. A triple from Joe Devance with a minute left on the clock gave Purefoods the first two-point lead of the extra period, 101-99. TNT’s de Ocampo responded on the other end with a long-two to force another deadlock with 36.9 seconds left. Talk ‘N Text staff appealed to the officials, claiming the shot was made with de Ocampo’s feet both behind the arc. The officials, however, ruled in favor of the basket being a two-point field goal.

It was de Ocampo to the rescue once again in the next possessions, scoring on the attack to sink a difficult basket, and give TNT a 103-101 edge with just ten seconds left. Purefoods’ Denzel Bowles, however, rose to the occasion in the next possession, sinking a tough floater to knot the game at 103-all, with a single second left on the clock. Bowles was the man of the hour in the final second of the play, swatting away Jayson Castro’s stealthy layup to send the game into another overtime period.

With neither team looking to back down and let the other get away, the lead changed hands several times in the opening minutes of the second overtime period. With a minute left to play, the score was still tied at 107-all. Talk ‘N Text put up an excellent defensive showing that forced Purefoods to waste an entire shot clock, giving them possession of the ball with less than 30 seconds left. The Tropang texters, however, were unable to create in the next possession. A bricked shot from Jay Washington was collected by the Hotshots, who raced to the other end of the court. It was, however, fearsome defense from the Tropang Texters that denied the Hotshots any good looks on the basket. A botched attack by Mark Barroca led to the clock expiring, and a third overtime period announced.

Both teams went scoreless in the first two minutes of the third overtime period, until the cold spell was broken a three-point play by Mark Barroca that gave Purefoods a 110-107 edge. With a minute left, the score was tied at 114, but James Yap sank a spin move with 51.2 seconds left to help Purefoods get away with the lead. After forcing the Hotshots to throw away the ball, a triple from Jay Washington put Talk ‘N Text up ahead, 117-116 with 28.3 seconds left. The next play saw Denzel Bowles sink a tough floater to put Purefoods back up with a narrow 118-117 edge with 7.1 seconds left on the clock.

The last play of the game saw Talk ‘N Text go to gunner Washington, who unfortunately found himself covered by the towering import Bowles. Washington’s awkward trey ended with the ball inches short of going through the hoop. As the buzzer expired, the Hotshots were celebrating on the court.

Bowles took home Player of the Game honors with 30 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 blocks to his name. Ivan Johnson, who fouled out late in the game, led Talk ‘N Text with 26 points and 15 rebounds. Purefoods improves to 6-3, a slate shared with the Tropang Texters after this evening’s encounter.

The Scores:

PUREFOODS

Bowles 30, Mallari 17, Yap 15, Devance 14, Barroca 13, Simon 10, Maliksi 9, Pingris 7, Reavis 3

TNT

Johnson 26, Castro 24, Ganuelas-Rosser 20, Washington 19, de Ocampo 12, Fonacier 6, Alas 6, Carey 2

Quarters: 22-18, 46-43, 66-70, 91-91, 103-103 (1OT) 107-107 (2OT) 118-117 (3OT)

*Photo from PBA

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