Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jason Castro keys TNT win over Derby Ace in Game 5

Jason Castro came off the bench and scored 22 points to spark Talk `N Text past defending champion B-Meg Derby Ace, 97-83, to move within striking distance of reaching the PBA Philippine Cup Finals Wednesday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Castro keyed two separate runs that spelled the difference in the Game 5 win that gave the Tropang Texters a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven semifinals series.

The telecommunication franchise can advance outright to its first All-Filipino Cup Finals in two years with another win on Friday, also at the Big Dome.

The former Philippine Christian University (PCU) stalwart was at the helm of a huge 16-4 run in the fourth quarter that stopped the comebacking Llamados on their tracks.

The reigning champions had just threatened at 76-77 with 9:18 to go when Castro, in tandem with Jimmy Alapag and Larry Fonacier, unleashed that big offensive blast that put the Tropang Texters way ahead for good, 93-80, in the final 1:35.

Ali Peek complemented Castro with 16 points, while Fonacier and Ranidel de Ocampo had 13 each.

“We know they’re the defending champions, so it’s going to be a hard series," said Alapag, who finished with only eight points but was a solid presence in the Tropang Texters’ backcourt.

James Yap paced the reigning champions with 24 points, 15 in the first half when the Llamados led by as many as 14 points before settling for a 31-20 lead at the end of the first period.

But Castro combined with Alapag to lead a furious Tropang Texters comeback, tying the score at 48-all. 

Fonacier’s long three-pointer just before the halftime buzzer put Talk `N Text in front for good, 51-48.

The Tropang Texters led by as much as 62-50 halfway in the third period on a Peek basket underneath. - KY, RCJ, GMANews.TV

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