Mick Pennisi and Barako Bull’s “Manong Brigade” moved one step closer to the finals, hacking out an 85-81 win over the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters in Game Three of their Commissioner’s Cup semifinals series at the Cuneta Astrodome Sunday night.
Pennisi’s hit a crucial three-pointer late in the game, before splitting free throws with 26 seconds left to preserve the win for Barako Bull.
His clutch shot came after Talk ‘N Text cut the Barako Bull lead to two points, 79-77,courtesy of Jayson Castro’s two free throws.
Although the Tropang Texters came to within one point, 82-81, after two free throws by Kelly Williams, Miller and Pennisi combined for three of four free throws by Barako Bull in the final 43 seconds.
“They were not hitting their shots, we were hitting ours,” said Barako Bull coach Junel Baculi.
“But I told the players that let’s not hope they miss their shots, we’ve got to contest them because 90 percent of the time they’re going to hit their shots if we leave them good looks at the basket.”
Barako Bull established their biggest lead of the game at 21 points, 54-33, after a 12-2 run in the third period capped by Miller’s lay-up.
Barako’s defense held the Tropang Texters to their season-low output in the first half at 31 points.
“Our game plan was to keep the score as low as possible. We were blown out by Talk ‘N Text in Game Two, but the players came out and bounced back strong and that allowed us to take a 2-1 lead,” added Baculi.
The Tropang Texters rallied back and made a game out of it in the fourth period. But Talk ‘N Text’s comeback was hampered by the ejection of Jimmy Alapag, who was ejected after his second technical foul with 4:37 left in the game. The reigning Most Valuable Player had been getting chippy with Barako Bull defender Ronald Tubid. Alapag’s first technical foul came after he elbowed Tubid, who reacted by talking trash his opponent
Barako Bull (85) – Freeman 27, Miller 17, Pennisi 15, Seigle 14, Tubid 8, Salvador 2, Pena 2, Aquino 0, Najorda 0, Allado 0, Arboleda 0.
Talk ‘N Text (81) – Harvey 19, Carey 15, Alapag 14, Castro 11, Williams 7, Fonacier 7, Dillinger 3, Reyes 3, De Ocampo 2, Gamalinda 0.
Quarterscores: 19-17; 42-31; 67-57; 85-81
» Rajko Toroman happy with new Barako Bull players from trades
» Japeth Aguilar to Ginebra, Jay Washington to GlobalPort deals approved by PBA
» Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio thrilled with acquisition of Jared Dillinger, Don Allado