The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters are headed to the next stage of the quarterfinals, following a merciless 105-76 trampling of the Barako Bull Energy Cola, Friday evening at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Rookie Matt Ganuelas-Rosser had one of the most spectacular performances of his young career, bagging 19 points and 7 rebounds to lead the Tropang Texters.
The Tropang Texters took control of the game early in the opening period, after building a 12-6 lead in the first four minutes of the ball game. Powered by their seamless shooting, Talk ‘N Text continued to have the upper hand for most of the quarter, before eventually finishing the first twelve minutes with a 23-19 edge.
Following a 6-0 rally bolstered by a couple of defensive plays in the first three minutes of the second quarter, Barako Bull found themselves with the lead, 25-23, with nine left on the clock. Ranidel de Ocampo however easily responded on the other end with a triple to halt the run and steal back the lead. Talk ‘N Text turned the tables in the following minutes, enforcing a full court press to hold Barako Bull to four points in the next five minutes and lead by as many as 11, 41-29, with two minutes left on the clock. At the end of the quarter, they led by 15, 47-32, after holding Barako Bull to a dismal 29.3% from the field in the first half.
The lead only ballooned in the third quarter, with Talk ‘N Text scoring as they pleased. They led by as many as 26 points with two minutes left on the clock, 76-50. At the end of the quarter, they held a commanding 76-52 advantage.
Barako Bull showed signs of life early in the fourth period, completing a 6-0 run to trim the lead to 20, 78-58. The run however was easily stymied by a triple from sharpshooting Talk ‘N Text rookie Kevin Alas to bring the lead back to 23, 81-58, with nine minutes left in the game. The Tropang Texters pulled away anew to lead by 30, 90-60, around the halfway mark of the period.
The Tropang Texters continued to deny Barako Bull any chance at mounting a comeback, and entering the final two minutes, they led by a staggering 35 points, 103-68. Barako Bull was able to sink a couple of consolation baskets in the final two minutes, but it was Talk ‘N Text who walked away from the floor celebrating.
Four other Talk ‘N Text players scored in double-digits: Jason Castro and Alas had 14 and 13 points respectively, and Larry Fonacier had 11. JC Intal led the Energy with 16 points.
As of this writing, Talk ‘N Text are awaiting the winner of the series between Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and GlobalPort Batang Pier. The winner of the Ginebra-GlobalPort series will face Talk ‘N Text next week in a knockout match for one of the two remaining semifinals slots.
*Photo by Nuki Sabio of PBA Images