With their backs against the wall, the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters showed poise inside the court, letting their game do the talking.
The defending champions blew past Barako Bull, 108-90, in Game Four of their Commissioner’s Cup semifinals series Monday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum to force a do-or-die fifth game.
Despite receiving a boxer’s cut near his right eyebrow after an accidental elbow by Don Allado, Ranidel de Ocampo finished with 23 points to lead the Tropang Texters’ assault.
Their lead went up by as much as 29 points, 80-51, in the third quarter. Each of the 14 Talk ‘N Text players scored for coach Chot Reyes, who warned that the series is far from over.
“All we did was tie the series. We can’t celebrate, not for one minute, and we can’t be satisfied. We’re only halfway there,” he said.
Reyes said his wards need to be ready for the knockout match, which is expected to be a physical affair.
“Game Five is an all-out war. We need the same kind of energy and focus just like what we showed tonight.”
He said he doesn’t expect Talk ‘N Text to have momentum coming into Game Five.
“What I’ve learned is that in a series, one win is just one win, and the margin of victory is not a factor.”
Apart from shooting well, Talk ‘N Text also mustered great defensive effort to contain Barako Bull import Gabe Freeman, who scored just six points. It was the lowest output for the two-time Best Import in his 59-game PBA career dating back to 2009.
Talk ‘N Text (108) – De Ocampo 23, Harvey 12, Dillinger 12, Castro 12, Williams 11, Peek 8, Gamalinda 7, Fonacier 7, Aguilar 4, Carey 4, Raymundo 2, Reyes 2, Alvarez 2, Alapag 2.
Barako Bull (90) – Seigle 20, Miller 10, Allado 10, Pennisi 9, Aquino 7, Najorda 7, Salvador 7, Tubid 7, Freeman 6, Gatumbato 5, Arboleda 2, Sorongon 0, Cervantes 0, Weinstein 0, Pena 0.
Quarters: 30-23; 55-42; 89-64; 108-90
» Ginebra rolls through Talk ‘N Text to forge finals showdown with Alaska
» Ginebra’s plan: Let Tony Mitchell score, but shut down Talk ‘N Text locals
» Win or Go Home: Ginebra, Talk ‘N Text clash for finals seat in Game Five