Talk ‘N Text nips Purefoods, Castro scores 33 points

Manila, Philippines – The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters finally defeated the Purefoods Star Hotshots, 79-66, on Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Jason Castro posted 13 of 33 points in the final period to deliver the needed baskets that buried Purefoods. Talk ‘N Text ‘N will meet Rain Or Shine in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

With stingy defense, the Hotshots were able to pull away with a 38-28 score at the half. However, Castro exploded drilling in baskets and assisting to open teammates that enabled the Tropang Texters to cut the deficit into two, 40-38, with less than seven minutes left in the third quarter.

The Hotshots were known to bounce back when the game is on the line, but Castro’s offensive attacks in the fourth quarter couldn’t awaken the never-say-die spirits of the opposing players.

Talk ‘N Text scored 17 points in the third quarter while allowing only 10 points to Purefoods, ending at 48-45, going into the final quarter. PJ Simon was instrumental in delivering the necessary score to have the lead after three quarters.

Because the Hotshots needed to win this game, Ivan Johnson scored to tied the game with seven minutes remaining in regulation. Johnson drilled in a triple to have the lead at 62-59, and the Texters never looked back.

Johnson finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds to help TNT in booking itself into the Finals. Ranidel De Ocampo scored 12 points and Jay Washington was part of the offensive juggernaut with 12 points.

Purefoods tried to rally back but had fallen short this time. Denzel Bowles scored 14 points with only eight rebounds. Bowles had an off night, making only 3-of-15 from the field.

Star James Yap had an off night also, 1-for-8 from the field, with two points. Joe De Vance contributed 10 points while Marc Barroca posted 12 points. Marc Pingres added eight points for the Hotshots.

Game One of the Commissioner’s Cup Finals is schedule on Wednesday, April 15, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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