ANTIPOLO CITY — Ranidel de Ocampo brought with him his spunk, savvy and leadership as he finally returned to play and helped Talk n Text pull off a 104-103 squeaker over Alaska in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Sports Center here Monday night.
Steffphon Pettigrew came through with game-highs of 27 points and 16 rebounds, and De Ocampo helped a lot with 13 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal and his mere presence that lifted the morale and spirit of his teammates.
Matt Ganuelas Rosser tossed in a personal-conference-high 17 points, Sam Daghles dished off a personal best 11 assists while Larry Fonacier produced 12 markers, including two crucial free throws in the last 10 seconds, as the Tropang Texters chalked up a second win in three starts in the season-ending tourney.
Romeo Travis had his own double-double game with 26 points and 10 rebounds but missed five of his last six field attempts, including a make-or-break shot at the buzzer as Alaska absorbed a first loss in four games.
“We’re really lucky. It could have gone either way. Travis just missed it point blank,” said Talk n Text coach Jong Uichico of Travis’ boner.
Down by four, 100-104, with 10 seconds to go, Alaska nearly salvaged the game as Jvee Casio nailed a tough three-pointer off two defenders, and then the Aces stole possession off a trap on De Ocampo with 4.5 ticks left.
From a timeout, the Aces looked for Travis who then blew past Daghles and Pettigrew, and got himself in a good scoring position but missed a bank shot at the buzzer.
The Texters thus put a dent on the Aces’ record and allowed idle Barako Bull (3-0) to get the solo lead in the tourney.
All three teams and six other ball clubs take a short break as the PBA brings Rain or Shine, Barangay Ginebra and GlobalPort to Dubai for a two-game series on Thursday and Friday.
The Elasto Painters play on both games, tangling with the Batang Pier on Day One before tackling the Gin Kings on the next.
The Texters got back on the winning track even as they continued to miss four other players in Jayson Castro, Kevin Alas, Aaron Aban and Ryan Reyes.
Uichico broke in De Ocampo off the bench, with the Gilas Pilipinas mainstay going 5-of-9 from the field in 19:07 of action.
He was on the floor at winning time.
He put in six points in a key 8-3 exchange that pushed Talk n Text ahead to stay at 99-95 with1:22 left.
As Alaska inched to within one, 98-99, on three charities by Casio, Pettigrew and Rosser answered with three foul shots of their own.
Travis and Fonacier then exchanged two points each as the Texters took the 104-100 lead. (SB)
Talk N Text 104 — Pettigrew 27, Rosser 17, De Ocampo 13, Fonacier 12, Daghles 9, Williams 7, Washington 6, Carey 5, Miller 3, Seigle 3, Labagala 2.
Alaska 103 — TRavis 26, Casio 21, Baguio 13, Banchero 11, Dela Rosa 9, Manuel 6, Eximiniano 6, Abueva 5, Hontiveros 2, Menk 2, Jazul 2, Thoss 0, Dela Cruz 0.
Quarterscores: 24-31; 53-49; 77-78; 104-103,
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