Talk ‘N Text notched a resounding 127-97 win over Barako Bull to reach the semifinals of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 40 Commissioners Cup on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, the Texters under head coach Jong Uichico banked on import Ivan Johnson’s impressive output of 35 points on 13-of-19 shooting in the field plus 15 rebounds to block Barako Bull’s entry into the playoff.
Another noteworthy lopsided victory at the MOA Arena occurred in June 3 last year when Ginebra crushed Barako Bull, 98-77.
“We are just lucky and Ivan played well,” said Uichico of the former National Basketball Association power forward. “Semifinals will be at a different level because it is the best against the best. The players have to play a notch higher and they knew it. Purefoods or Alaska—is a tough opponent.”
Playmaker Jason Castro scored 18 points on 4-of-5 in the three-point zone plus seven assists, power forward Ranidel De Ocampo added 16 points, rookie Matt Rosser 12 points and shooting guard Larry Fonacier 10 points.
Talk ‘N Text established its biggest lead before halftime (62-33) when Johnson scored a put back.
Import Solomon Alabi and JC Intal posted 23 points and 22 points respectively for Barako Bull.
The best-of-three quarterfinals pairing between sister teams Meralco and Northern Luzon Expressway will happen on Sunday. The other best-of-three quarterfinals match between Purefoods and Alaska will also resume that day.
Meralco and Purefoods are ahead 1-0 in the series after beating their respective rivals on Friday.