Norman Black-coached Tropang Texters stave off Global Port rally for second straight winBy Calvin Cordova
Cebu Daily News
Norman Black’s return to the pro league as a head coach got off to a flying start and he had Jayson Castro to thank for as the speedy guard powered the Talk ’N Text Tropang Texters to a hard-earned 108-104 win over Global Port Batang Pier in the first game of the PBA Philippine Cup yesterday at the Smart Araneta Center.
After steering the Ateneo Blue Eagles to their fifth straight crown in the UAAP, the American coach is now at the helm of the Talk ’N Text bench as he tries to steer the Texters to the Philippine Cup crown anew. That campaign is off to a good start as the Texters pocketed their second victory in as many games.
ROS WINS IN OT
In the second game, Jeff Chan scored a career-high 35 points and made the game’s winning basket to tow the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (2-1) to a 99-98 overtime win over the Air21 Express (1-2).
Castro made things possible for the Texters, who flirted with disaster after squandering a 16-point third quarter lead and an 86-74 edge to start the period.
Tallying a game-high 30 points on a high 11-for-14 shooting from the field, Castro played the hero’s role by scoring 11 of the team’s last 16 points, including nine straight points that gave the Texters a 105-104 lead after Global Port had stolen the lead going into the final three minutes of the contest.
Global Port didn’t score again after taking a 104-101 lead in the final 3:41.
Castro scored four straight points, including a big jumper that gave the Texters a 105-104 lead with 2:42 left.
Failing to secure defensive rebounds hastened Global Port’s downfall.
Batang Pier gave up three offensive rebounds in the closing seconds and paid dearly for it as Ranidel De Ocampo canned a booming triple in final nine seconds that gave the Texters safe four-poitn cushion.
Willie Miller once again led Batang Pier with 22 points.