No import and no head coach.
No problem for the defending champion Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters.
The back-to-back all-Filipino champs hit 19 three-pointers as Talk ‘N Text played through adversity and emerged victorious over the B-MEG Llamados, 102-96, in Wednesday’s main game of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Jayson Castro made six of his seven three-point shots, including a backbreaking triple off a broken play that effectively sealed the game, and finished with 22 points to lead the importless Tropang Texters.
With B-MEG threatening late in the game after import Denzel Bowles made two free throws to shove his team to within three, 98-95, Castro decided to take matters into his own hands and drove hard to the basket. He got his lay-up rejected by Bowles, but recovered the loose ball and hit a triple that kissed the window before going in for a 101-95 lead with only 25.2 seconds left in the game.
“The only way to beat B-MEG was for us to hit our outside shots and we did it. It’s not everyday we’re going to hit 19 three-pointers and we’re fortunate we were able to do that,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes.
Reyes was ejected from the game in the third quarter for acquiring a second technical foul. He later admitted not knowing that “coaches are not allowed to cross the officials’ table.”
“Ignorance is not an excuse,” said Reyes. “I made a mistake and I took the blame for my ignorance of the rule.”
Reyes, however, praised his team for its excellent job on defense, especially in shackling James Yap and PJ Simon, two of the Llamados’ top guns. Yap was held to only five points on a lethargic 1-for-10 shooting from the field. Simon also struggled for three points on 1-for-4 shooting.
“We played a hell of a game and we had a well-executed defensive game plan,” said Reyes.
Talk ‘N Text got 19 points from Ranidel de Ocampo, 17 from Kelly Williams and 11 from Larry Fonacier as the locals more than made up for the absence of injured import Omar Samhan.
Denzel Bowles led the Llamados with 38 points and 12 rebounds.
Talk ‘N Text (102) – Castro 22, De Ocampo 19, Williams 17, Fonacier 11, Dillinger 8, Alapag 8, Carey 6, Peek 6, Gamalianda 3, Reyes 2.
B-MEG (96) – Bowles 38, Devance 19, Pingris 8, Barroca 7, Intal 6, Yap 5, Urbiztondo 4, Yap 4, Simon 3, Reavis 2.
Quarterscores: 28-20; 61-49; 84-74; 102-96.