Talk ‘N Text escaped with a narrow 87-85 Game 2 win over reigning champion San Miguel Beer on Friday to even the best-of-seven semifinals of Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Forward Jeth Troy Rosario led Talk ‘N Text with 14 points. Ranidel De Ocampo finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds; Moala Tautuaa had 12 points and nine rebounds while Rookie Roger Pogoy contributed 11 points and nine rebounds also for the KaTropa.
“We conditioned our minds that it was going to be close,” TNT coach Nash Racela said during the postgame interview. “Good thing the players were really locked in today.”
Jayson Castro posted 10 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds while Larry Fonacier had 10 points also for Talk ‘N Text.
Talk ‘N Text’s win snapped San Miguel Beer’s 11-game winning streak.
The KaTropa were in control of the first half, leading 20-15 in the first quarter and doubling their advantage to 42-33 at the start of second half.
Tautuaa’s two free throws with still 11 minutes to go in the third period kept Talk ‘N Text’s ahead, 44-33, but a 12-2 attack highlighted by Santos’ three-pointer allowed San Miguel Beer to seize the lead, 54-53, with still 4:08 to go.
Talk ‘N Text closed the third quarter with a 12-5 salvo to regain the lead, 65-59, at the start of last period. The KaTropa, led by Pogoy scored nine straight points in the early part of fourth frame resulting in a 75-64 advantage with still 8:45 to go.
The Beermen refused to give up unleashing another rally capped by Cabagnot’s triple, forging an 80-all deadlock with still 3:25 to go in the last quarter. Jun Mar Fajardo’s two free throws gave the Beermen their last taste of the lead, 82-80 with only 2:36 remaining.
Fajardo led the Beermen with 25 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks.
But a 7-3 run in the last minute mark led by Pogoy, Castro and De Ocampo saved Talk ‘N Text, 87-85.
San Miguel Beer’s Arwind Santos failed to score a basket at the buzzer, allowing Talk ‘N Text to seal the win.
TNT 87 – Rosario 14, De Ocampo 13, Tautuaa 12, Pogoy 11, Castro 10, Fonacier 10, Williams 9, Rosser 5, Rosales 3, Golla 0, Reyes 0, Seigle 0.
SAN MIGUEL 85 – Fajardo 25, Cabagnot 24, Santos 9, Espinas 8, Lassiter 8, Agovida 7, Ross 4, De Ocampo 0, Garcia 0, Reyes 0, Tubid 0.
Quarter Scores: 20-15, 42-33, 65-59, 87-85.