Talk ‘N Text encountered little trouble in dispatching a JVee Casio-less Powerade side, 116-100, in Game One of the best-of-seven finals of the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup Friday night at Davao del Sur Cultural Sports Business Center in Digos City.
The Tropang Texters simply had too much firepower against the Tigers, who trailed early in the game by double digits and never recovered since.
Jason Castro led Talk ‘N Text’s balanced attack with 23 points to go along with six rebounds and eight assists to give his team an early 1-0 lead in the series.
Ryan Reyes and Jared Dillinger each had 15 points while Larry Fonacier and Ranidel de Ocampo netted 14 apiece for the Tropang Texters. Ali Peek finished with 13 points.
“We expected this kind of game against Powerade, run and gun. After the series with Petron, we were hoping we have the legs to stay with Powerade,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes.
“We just caught them off kasi wala si JVee. It will be a completely different team when Casio comes back.”
Casio, who is averaging 12.2 points and 6.1 assists per game, dressed up but did not play due to a pulled right hamstring.
And without the top rookie pick, the Tigers’ offense was in disarray to start the game, as the Tropang Texters, behind the 11 points from Ryan Reyes, erected an early 38-21 spread after the first quarter.
It was Fonacier’s turn to torch Powerade in the second quarter, when he unloaded 10 of his 14 points, as Talk ‘N Text carried a 68-52 lead at halftime.
The Tropang Texters raised their lead to 20 points three times in the second half, the last one at 102-82 before the Tigers unleashed their last hurrah, dropping a 16-5 bomb capped by Marcio Lassiter’s triple to cut the lead to nine points, 107-98, with 3:50 remaining in the game.
But Talk ‘N Text responded with a 7-2 exchange to put the game out of reach, 114-100, 2:02 left in the game.
Sean Anthony led the Tigers with 23 points while Gary David was held to just 19, his lowest output so far in the playoffs. Lassiter also had 19 points.
Game Two is set on Monday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
TALK ‘N TEXT 116 – Castro, 23, Reyes 15, Dillinger 15, Fonacier 14, De Ocampo 14, Peek 13, Alapag 9, Aguilar 6, Carey 4, Williams 3, Gamalinda 0, Raymundo 0.
POWERADE 100 – Anthony 23, David 19, Lassiter 19, Lingganay 13, Kramer 12, Cruz 4, Antonio 3, Vanlandingham 3, Adducul 2, Crisano 2, Allera 0.
Quarterscores: 38-21, 68-52,96-81, 116-100