After botching endgame plays that usually seal tight wins for them, the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters still managed to escape Antipolo with a tight 104-103 win over the previously undefeated Alaska Aces in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Monday night.
With less than a minute left in the game, Alaska import, Romeo Travis blew two consecutive point blank attempts. This continued with Alaska piling on their futility by fouling after each miss, opening the door for Talk ‘N Text to build a four-point lead, 102-98, at the free throw line after Matt Ganuelas-Rosser sank two charities with 40 seconds remaining. Alaska then shaved precious time on the clock trying to find an easy shot, managing to hit Travis in the post for a lay-in 102-100, leaving 16 seconds on the clock.
TNT’s best free throw shooter, Larry Fonacier drained two more free throws to maintain his team’s two possession advantage, 104-103. But Alaska had one more gasp for breath, after finding JVee Casio for a corner three, 104-103 off a well-designed misdirection play with six seconds remaining. Alaska then snuffed out Talk ‘N Text’s ensuing inbound play off a timeout, grabbing a steal then calling timeout with 4.5 ticks on the game clock. Romeo Travis managed to get loose to catch the following inbound pass, and squeeze past two defenders from the right wing. However, he then clanked his off-balance potential game-winning floater.
Alaska’s physical defense wore in Talk ‘N Text throughout the match. However, the Ace’s rough-and-tumble play resulted in their key frontcourt players getting tagged with multiple fouls early in quarters, forcing Alaska head coach Alex Compton to dig into his bench. Talk ‘N Text held on to keep themselves in the game with timely shooting from beyond the arc that allowed them to keep the floor spaced for their post players.
National Team stalwart, Ranidel de Ocampo returned to the TNT lineup and made huge plays early in the second quarter to get his team out of an offensive dry spell and late in the game with huge jumpers that kept Talk ‘N Text ahead. RDO finished the game with 13 markers, four boards, three assists, and the game’s best player honors. His team’s import Sam Pattigrew led all scorers as he accrued 27 points while inhaling 16 boards.
TNT rookie, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser kept the Alaska on its heels with his impeccable play which resolyed in 16 points off a perfect 6 for 6 shooting clip. TNT’s Asian import, Sam Daghles continued struggled to shoot the ball but managed to fluently distribute it, ending the game with nine points and 11 assists.
Alaska’s Romeo Travis did most of his damage from the post, piling up a double-double of 26 points and 10 boards. The Aces received most of their production from their deep backcourt lineup led by La Salle product, Jvee Casio hit clutch threes in the fleeting minutes of the game to keep Alaska withing striking distance. He ended up with 21 points on six for 10 shooting while Cyrus Baguio and Chris Banchero each pitched on double-digit outings with 13 and 10 markers respectively.
Alaska now drops to second place with a 3-1 record while Talk ‘N Text heads into the extends break with a 2-1 slate.
Talk ‘N Text (104) – Pettigrew 27, Ganuelas-Rosser 17, De Ocampo 13, Fonacier 12, Daghles 9, Williams 7, Washington 6, Carey 5, Miller 3, Seigle 3, Labagala 2,
Alaska (103) – Travis 26, Casio 21, Baguio 13, Banchero 11, Dela Rosa 9, Manuel 6, Exciminiano 6, Abueva 5, Hontiveros 2, Jazul 2, Thoss 0, Dela Cruz 0
Quarters: 24-31, 53-49, 77-78, 104-103