|PBA Images/Nuki Sabio|
Defense has always been Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black’s calling card.
The multi-titled mentor in the PBA and in the UAAP turned the run and gun Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters into a defensive-minded squad as they hacked out a pulsating 79-76 win over a very game Barako Bull Energy Cola squad Wednesday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
“Defensively, this is how the way I wanted it,” said Black on the new defensive system he implemented on the squad. “Offensively, we’re still trying to work on our communication.”
The Tropang Texters, a fast-paced team under previous coach Chot Reyes, has become more than just a fancy footloose squad under Black.
The team worked extra hard to make stops, challenging Barako Bull at every turn and holding the Energy Cola below 40-percent field goal shooting (31-of-79) for the game.
Barako Bull, though, was still able to make a game out of it.
The game was tied entering the final two minutes, before spitfire guard Jayson Castro unleashed a crucial trey from the left wing with 1:27 left that proved to be the game’s marginal basket.
Talk ‘N Text then forced a turnover on Roger Yap in the next play and refused to allow Barako Bull easy access to the basket in their next two possessions as the Tropang Texters escaped with a win to remain perfect in five games.
Still, Black heaped praises on opposing coach Junel Baculi.
“He was able to come up with a sound game plan against us. They did a good job taking advantage of their edge in the post area. Luckily we came up with good stops down the stretch,” Black said.
TALK ‘N TEXT 79 – Castro 15, Fonacier 13, Peek 10, De Ocampo 9, Reyes 8, Williams 7, Alapag 6, Gamalinda 4, Carey 3, Dillinger 2, Ferriols 2.
BARAKO BULL 76 – Villanueva 16, Kramer 15, Anthony 12, Tubid 12, Ballesteros 6, Pennisi 6, Najorda 5, Urbiztondo 2, Yap 2, Cervantes 0.
Quarters: 17-18, 46-45, 68-61, 79-76.