Barako Bull seeks a commanding 2-0 lead against Talk ‘N Text in Game Two of their best-of-five semifinal series of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Thursday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
Fresh from an 84-77 win in the series opener, the Energy hope to sustain the momentum and put the defending champions deeper in the hole.
Game time is set at 6:45 p.m. with the Tropang Texters will be playing minus ace forward Kelly Williams, who suffered a fractured cheek bone in Game One.
“They will come back stronger for sure and we have to be ready for that,” said Barako Bull head coach Junel Baculi. “With coach Chot (Reyes) and TNT’s experience they will fight back.”
Again, the veterans carried the fight for the Energy after Gabe Freeman went silent offensively in the crucial stages of the game after scoring 13 in the first period and finished with 21.
Danny Seigle unloaded nine of his 19 markers in the fourth that allowed the Energy to take control of the game.
Dorian Pena had a double-double game for Barako Bull with 11 points and 12 rebounds while two-time MVP Willie Miller had 10. Wynne Arboleda had nine including two huge three-pointers in the fourth.
Overall, it was the experience and the physical defense of Barako Bull that prevailed against the Tropang Texters to draw the first blood in the series.
“If our veterans can sustain it, if their legs can do it, I think we have a good chance in the series. They are showing their heart and desire,” said Baculi.
Jason Castro was the top scorer in Game One with 27 points but Reyes’ other reliables failed to deliver including import Donnell Harvey who had only nine markers.
Jimmy Alapag was held scoreless and Ryan Reyes had only three.
And Talk ‘N Text needs the others to step up especially without Williams, who sustained the injury in a collision with Ronald Tubid early in the game.