MANILA, Philippines – The Barako Bull Energy showed poise and grit as they held off the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters’ rally to take a 2-1 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals series lead with a 85-81 game three victory.
Mick Pennisi, known more for ‘flopping’, hit a clutch 3-point basket to stretch Barako’s lead to five with two minutes left in the game. He was awarded best player honors tallying 15 points and 8 rebounds, shooting 50% (4 out of 8) from downtown.
Barako Bull led by as much as 21 points following a lay-up by 2-time PBA MVP Willie Miller but saw that lead dissipate as the game neared its closing minutes.
The Texters’ comeback attempt took a hit when reigning MVP Jimmy Alapag was thrown out of the game after getting hit with a second technical foul with over four minutes left in the final quarter. Alapag’s first technical was called after he elbowed pesky defender Ronald Tubid.
The imports led the charge for both clubs with Gabe Freeman of the Barako Bull, who scored 27 points and hauled down 14 boards, gaining the edge over counterpart Donnell Harvey who scored 19 points and grabbed 18 rebounds.
Barako’s game plan was to keep it a low-scoring ball game and they intend to do it again on Monday as they attempt to ‘slay a giant’, says Barako coach Junel Baculi.
Expect an inspired effort from the Tropang Texters who is familiar with a back-against-the-wall situation when they came back from being down 3-1 to take the Philippine Cup semifinals series against the Petron Blaze Boosters.
“When your back is against the wall, there’s only one option…come out swinging,” tweeted Talk ‘N Text forward Harvey Carey. He could not have said it any better. – Rappler.com