Combo guard Jayson Castro led Talk ‘N Text to a slim 98-95 victory over sister-team Meralco in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Castro scored 16 of his 24 points in the second half in addition to seven rebounds and five assists to lead the Tropang Texters to its second straight victory.
He scored 19 points in Talk ‘N Text’s 101-98 come-from-behind win over Rain or Shine in their first game in their first game of the season on Wednesday.
“We wanted to have a good start because in previous conferences, our start wasn’t good. It is really good today that we played as a team. Nothing special, I’m just doing my usual job. It’s a total team effort,” Castro said.
Import Mario Little contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds. Another import, Lebanese Michael Mandaly also posted 14 points while rookie Kris Rosales had 13 points also for the Tropang Texters.
“I’m playing behind Jayson and it is really good to have that experience. It’s really a great opportunity for me to play for Talk ‘N Text,” said Rosales.
Despite their back-to-back wins, Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico said that the team would be more powerful if its injured members Matt Rosser-Ganuelas (ankle), Kelly Williams (knee) and forward Jeth Troy Rosario (knee) could resume playing the soonest
“They have to fit back into the team because these guys work hard also. We miss the fighting attitude. [Michael] Madanly is struggling but they still have to defend him. Kris has been a very good reliever for Jayson,” said Uichico during the postgame interview.
Talk ‘N Text established a 30-24 lead after the first quarter hampering the play of Meralco import Allen Durham. Durham, who injured his nose during the Bolts’ game against Alaska, wore a protective mask for the duration of the game. He finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds and five assists
Madanly scored a jumper bringing the score to 34-26 before halftime. But Jimmy Alapag led a 13-4 run highlighted by a triple to let his team grab the lead, 52-50, heading into the halftime break.
The Bolts also scored nine consecutive points unanswered including two free throws ofChris Newsome, to erect a double-digit lead, 65-55.
Castro and Talk ‘N Text, however, came back stronger in the later part of the third frame resulting in a 74-all score. Meralco dominated the early part of the payoff period but Talk ‘N Text unleashed a 12-2 run grabbing the lead 98-89 with less than three minutes left in the game.
Meralco closed the gap, 98-95, with a minute remaining but Jared Dillinger’s potential game-tying shot failed as the final buzzer sounded. He finished with 15 points for Meralco
“It’s still a long season. Talk ‘N Text has a lot of breaks and my shots didn’t go in the final second. It could happen to anyone. We have to move on because there are still more games,” said Dillinger.
Cliff Hodge posted 18 points and eight rebounds to lead the Bolts, who absorbed their first loss in three games for a 2-1 win-loss record.
In the second match, Rain or Shine recovered from its first game loss by posting a 106-89 win over a struggling Phoenix Petroleum squad.
Import Dior Lowhorn finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds while Jay-R Quinahan contributed 18 points.
Rookie Norbert Torres led Phoenix with 16 points and eight rebounds.
The Fuel Masters are still winless in three games.
Meanwhile, the PBA announced that the PBA All Star Weekend was slated on August 5 to 7 at the Araneta Coliseum. The North team will be coached by Yeng Guiao while the South team will be coached by Leo Austria.
The North All Star Starters will compose of Mark Caguioa of Ginebra, Terrence Romeo of GlobalPort, Calvin Abueva of Alaska, Jean Mark Pingris of Star Hotshots and Japeth Aguilar of Ginebra.
James Yap of Star Hotshots, Scottie Thompson of Ginebra, June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer, Greg Slaughter of Ginebra and Joe Devance of Ginebra will comprise the South All Star Starters.