The Tropang Texters and the Gin Kings are now even.
Talk ‘N’ Text dug deep to battle back from nine points down at the start of the fourth quarter, eventually winning over Barangay Ginebra, 85-79, to force a 1-1 deadlock on Sunday night in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-five semis series at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, in Cubao, Quezon City in the Philippines.
“It’s a virtual do-or-die game for us because 0-2 is a difficult situation,” Texters coach Norman Black said, as quoted by PBA, or Philippine Basketball Association, on its website. “Going to the fourth with a nine-point deficit, we said this is it. We have to survive and tie the series or we’re in big trouble. And we showed urgency.”
Ranidel de Ocampo hit a triple with 33.7 seconds left, as he overcame foul-trouble situation and registered 10 points in the fourth quarter, breaking the Gin Kings’ back and the hearts of predominantly Barangay Ginebra crowd of over 17,000 in the Big Dome.
“I just had to take it,” De Ocampo said of the shoot that decided the outcome of the match sponsored by Cebuana Lhuillier, a chain of pawnshops. “So there, I made it.”
The Texters and the Kings will now have to break their tie at the resumption of the series after the PBA All-Star Week in the southern Philippine province of Davao del Sur from May 1 to 6.
Texters’ guard/forward Jarred Dillinger may be out of the series until the early part of the next conference, however, as he got injured in a car accident early Saturday morning.
As it was about to fade after the third period, the Texters managed a miraculous 12-0 run at the opening of the fourth period.
“I’m really happy that we decided to play defence tonight,” Black said. “That’s gonna be the key in the series. Unlike the last game, we played defence with more focus and more intensity. That’s what will take us to make the finals.”
While he finished with only 14 points, Jerome Jordan provided help to the Texters with his huge presence on-court. His teammates Jayson Castro fired 22 points; Jimmy Alapag, 17; and De Ocampo, 16.
Talk ‘N’ Text (Tropang Texters) 85 – Castro 22, Alapag 17, De Ocampo 16, Jordan 14, Carey 6, Al-Hussaini 5, Reyes 4, Aban 1, Raymundo 0, Fonacier 0, Ferriols 0.
Barangay Ginebra (Gin Kings) 79 – Raymundo 17, Macklin 15, Urbiztondo 15, Helterbrand 12, Tenorio 8, Ellis 6, Taha 2, Baracael 2, Maierhofer 2.