Photo from PBA Images/Inquirer
Thanks to a Jayson Castro takeover late in the game, the Talk N’ Text KaTropa fended off the San Miguel Beermen, 87-85, to even up their Philippine Cup best-of-7 semifinals series with a win apiece, Friday evening at the Mall of Asia arena in Pasay city.
After an 11-2 San Miguel rally that gave the Beermen the lead 82-80 at the 2:36 mark, Castro scored and assisted on the rest of the KaTropa’s field goals. After a Kelly Williams split from the freethrow line, the two-time best point guard in Asia assisted on a Roger Pogoy and a Ranidel De Ocampo layup with a layup of Castro’s own sandwiched in between to push the lead to 87-82.
SMB refused to go silently into the night however. Alex Cabagnot converted on three free throws to open the door for a comeback, 87-85. After a stop on the other end, the Beermen had five seconds left to either tie or take the lead but poor play execution resulted into Arwind Santos trapped against three defenders as time expired, ending their 11-game winning streak.
Castro finished with a double-double of 10 points and 11 assists to go along with seven rebounds while De Ocampo finished with a double-double of his own with 13 markers and 13 boards. Troy Rosario chipped in with 14 points.
Pogoy and Mo Tautuaa were a rebound short of double-doubles of their own as they tallied 11 and 12 points respectively to go along with nine boards.
For San Miguel, June Mar Fajardo had 25 markers and 12 carroms while Cabagnot chipped in too by scoring 24. Chris Ross stuffed the statsheet with four points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, and five steals.
Game 3 of will be on Sunday, February 12 at the Smart-Araneta coliseum.