PBA: Talk ‘N Text counters Purefoods to even series 1 all

MANILA, Philippines - Awarded as Asia’s Best Point Guard during the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships, Jason “The Blur” Castro proved his quickness is no fluke by firing 21 points on game two of their best-of-five semi-finals match against Purefoods Star Hotshots as the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters even the series 93-77 on Monday, April 06, 2015 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.

Speed Kills. Jason Castro outruns and outscores rival guards to take game number 2 | Photo Credit: gmanetwork

With future Hall of Famer guard Jimmy “Mighty Mouse” Alapag officially retired, Castro has now plenty of things to prove in filling-in his predecessor’s shoes.

“The Blur” formally opened game two with a quick drive to basket followed by a sticky defense and a clear shot block on PJ Simon which resulted to another fast break lay-up.

Jay Washington and Talk ‘N Text reinforcement Ivan Johnson backed-up Jason Castro for an eight point, 21-13 lead after the first period.

Denzel Bowles led the Hotshots in first quarter scoring but unlike their first face-off, Monster Bowles was limited by Johnson to just seven points.

Purefoods Head Coach Tim Cone utilized his team’s height advantage over the Texters by fielding in 6’9” Denzel Bowles and another 6’9” forward - center Rafi Reavis together in the beginning of the second quarter which forced Coach Jong Uichico’s boys to shoot from the perimeter and beyond the arc. Luckily, Texter shooters were connecting from the outside to avoid deadly Hotshot-surge.

Bowles – Reavis collaboration was somehow working for the Hotshots where they both shot from the foul line fourteen times combined in the first half.

2012 PBA Commisioner’s Cup Best Import Denzel Bowles single handedly carried the entire Purefoods squad on his shoulders with 21 points seconded by PJ Simon with only 4 points in the second period. In contrast, Talk ‘N Text’s balanced scoring led by Castro and Johnson with 8 points apiece, followed by Fonacier and De Ocampo with 7 and 6 points respectively gave them a 6–point lead heading to the dugout for the half time break.

Early this morning, a multiple team trade happened in the PBA. Newly appointed Barangay Ginebra Head Coach Frankie Lim reunited with his San Beda big lion Dave Marcelo while sister team San Miguel Beermen acquired Power Forward Gabby Espinas and Yancy De Ocampo. Long-time Gin King Billy Mamaril found his new home at Globalport Batang Pier along with now ex-Beerman Doug Kramer. Lanky Rico Maierhofer was welcomed by Barako Bull for the second time.

In just a blink of an eye, Purefoods Hotshots grabbed the lead four minutes after the start of the third quarter with Denzel Bowles’ and one and “Big Game” James Yap’s back-to-back three pointers, 46-43.

Mama Bowles in Town.

Mrs. Veronica Bowles, Denzel’s mother was spotted at the bleachers wearing a number 21 Purefoods Team shirt and served as the young Hotshot’s inspiration to record another outstanding 35-point game ball.

Purefoods’ Allain Maliksi and Talk ‘N Text Rookie Matt Ganuelas-Rosser locked arms for a loose ball rebound with 13.7 seconds remaining in the third. The head referee called a Flagrant Foul 1 on Maliksi for swinging his fist on Ganuelas-Rosser’s chin. The Rookie was awarded with two fouls shots to close the penultimate quarter with a thin 59-57 lead.

Coach Cone opted to rest his import and sent his third “6 foot niner” Mick Pennisi to protect their slim lead while Bowles was taking a breather for the last quarter action.

Another Talk ‘N Text Rookie Kevin Alas, unleashed two shoots from downtown and brought the lead back to the Tropang Texters, 73-70 with seven more minutes remaining in the final period.

The physicality continued in the fourth where both Marc Pingris and Ivan Johnson got penalized with technical fouls for shoving and pushing each other on a dead ball.

Jimmy Alapag successor, Jason Castro took charge in the dying minutes of the final quarter to manage their lead and ensured a game two victory along with another inspired import Ivan Johnson whose wife and two sons were also present in the ball game.

“The Blur” booked 21 heroic points to even the series 1-1.


Talk ‘N Text 93 – Castro 21, Johnson 16, De Ocampo 14, Washington 12, Alas 12, Fonacier 10, Aban 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Williams 2, Carey 2

Purefoods 77 – Bowles 35, Yap 15, Simon 10, Pennisi 5, Devance 3, Mallari 2, Reavis 2, Barroca 2, Pingris 0, Maliksi 0, Melton 0

- D' Waterboy, TheSummitExpress

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