The second game of the PBA opening featured a battle between Talk n Text and Ginebra in front of a crowd of 52,162 people.
Both teams kept the game close, and after the first half, TnT held onto a slim 19-18 lead. The second quarter was where things started to get interesting. Carey put his team up 3 points with a steal and a fast-break lay-up, 21-18. The sweet shooting Mac Baracael answered with a jumper, his first points of the game, 21-20. The next possession saw Williams fouled on an attempt and he made 1 of his 2 free throw shots, giving TnT a 22-20 lead. Former Adamsonian, Brondial was able to tie the game at 22, and a Helterbrand 3 gave Ginebra the lead that they did not give up for the rest of the game. TnT rookie Rosser was fouled as he made his basket, but was unable to convert on the freebie, closing the deficit to 1 at 24-25.
This is when Baracael started to heat up as he made a wide open 3-point shot. TnT was not able to answer back, and Baracael made another 3, this time with the defender right in his face, pushing the lead to 7, 24-31. Mamaril gave Ginebra their first double-digit lead of the game with an and-one, converting on the free throw, 34-34. Ginebra was on a 9-0 run during this time.
Seigle finally broke the TnT drought as he was fouled on his attempt. He made the bucket, but missed on the free throw. Gilas member Castro was able to steal the ball and make his fast-break attempt, cutting the deficit to 6, 28-34.
The lead ballooned to double-digits once again, but Carey was able to make a basket for his squad, bringing his team closer, 32-40. Slaughter kept his opponents at bay, going 1-2 from the FT line, answering Williams’ basket with his own, and scoring again to keep his team up 9, 36-45. Williams was able to counter with 2-points of his own, and his Gilas teammate was able to convert on a 3-point attempt to cut the deficit to 4, 41-45 to end the first half.
Midway through the third, a duel occurred between the wily veteran Mark Caguioa and the speedy Jayson Castro. Castro fired first, getting fouled on an attempt and making 1 out of 2 free throw attempts to bring the lead down to 5, 51-56. Caguioa countered with a sneaky inbound play, making his lay-up and getting fouled in the process. He was able to convert his free throw. Caguioa was able to push the lead to double digits once again with a layup over his defenders. Castro countered with a jumper over the tallest man in the court, Greg Slaughter, followed by a fastbreak lay-up to reduce the deficit to 6, 55-61. Later on, Castro would dash through two defenders for a lay-up to bring the lead down to 4 at 59-63. Rosser splitting his freebies after a foul cut the deficit to 3, but a big 3-pointer from Helterbrand, a Slaughter lay-up from a lob pass, and an Aguilar basket would crumble all the hard work TnT accomplished, bringing the lead back up to double-digits. A jumper from Fonacier before the end of the quarter would keep TnT in the game coming into the fourth canto, 62-70.
Ginebra went on an offensive blitz at the final quarter, outscoring Tnt 19-31. Down 13 halfway through the fourth, TnT would mount one last comeback attempt led by their guards Kevin Alas and Jayson Williams. Williams split 2 free throws, followed by a big 3 from Alas, and another layup by Castro, cutting the deficit to 7, 76-83.
This was when Ginebra would go on a scoring tear. Aguilar blocked Rosser on two consecutive layup attempts, while making 2 baskets of his own. A Castro jumper was the last field goal TnT made, as Caguioa scored on his basket attempt, and make a 3 on their next possession. By this time the shot clock was off as there was less than 24 seconds in the game, but consecutive steals and baskets by Baracael and Caguioa beefed up the Ginebra lead to 20, sealing the fate of TnT, 81-101.
Aguilar earned MVP honors for the game, finishing with 18 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 blocks. The other tower of power, Greg Slaughter finished with a double-double of his own, 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
GINEBRA 101 – Aguilar 18, Slaughter 16, Baracael 16, Caguioa 12,
Helterbrand 10, Mamaril 8, Yeo 7, Ellis 6, Tenorio 4, Brondial 4,
Monfort 0, Forrester 0, Urbiztondo 0, Reyes 0, Ababou 0.
TALK N’ TEXT 81 – Williams 20, Castro 19, Alas 10, Fonacier 9,
Ganuelas 9, Carey 4, Seigle 4, Reyes Ryan 3, Reyes Rob 3, Washington
0, Aban 0, Labagala 0, Espiritu 0, De Ocampo 0.
Quarterscores: 18-19, 45-41, 70-62, 101-81