MANILA, Philippines – Jayson Castro was at his absolute best down the stretch against Star on Saturday, November 14, to lead his Talk ’N Text Tropang Texters past the Hotshots, 91-86, in Lucena City, Quezon.
Castro, who finished with a game-high 33 points, scored 7 points in the game’s final two minutes, with each point coming at a critical time to help his team avoid a late collapse against the pesky Hotshots.
The game went down the wire with Talk ’N Text ahead just 81-78 with 2:49 left. After a few empty possessions between both squads, a layup by James Yap off a spin move cut the lead to one.
Castro then responded with a floater with 1:43 to go to make the count 83-80. After Ian Sangalang hit a hook shot to trim the deficit to one again, Castro came back down with a 3-pointer for a 4-point lead.
The “Best Point Guard in Asia” then stole the ball and attacked Mark Barroca on offense, leading to a floater for an 88-82 lead.
The Tropang Texters again looked like they had the game in hand when top overall pick Moala Tautuaa threw down a dunk to make the count 90-82 with 30.8 seconds to go, but Star responded with 4 quick points thanks to a Yap basket and Marc Pingris free throws.
After Troy Rosario split his charities to make it a 91-86 game, Yap missed a long 3-ball to seal the loss with a few seconds remaining.
Talk ’N Text’s win improved their record to 3-1, putting them in a 5-way tie with Alaska, San Miguel, GlobalPort, and Rain or Shine for the top seed in the league standings.
Star fell to 2-3.
The Tropang Texters will be back in action on Friday, November 20, against the NLEX Road Warriors. Star, on the other hand, will face Meralco on Saturday, November 21. – Rappler.com
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