As advertised, the game of Talk ‘N Text versus STAR Hotshots was a highly contested battle between two of the winning-est teams in the PBA. Well, at least until the fourth quarter, when the Star Hotshots suddenly blew the game wide open and took a commanding 105-85 lead with little time left in the final period. The Tropang Texters started missing crucial shots, turning the ball over, and they just couldn’t get stops when they needed it most, late in the game.
This poor defense and sloppy play has been the main source of Talk ‘N Text’s struggles this conference, and this is all happening strangely after they had just won the championship in the previous Commissioner’s Cup. For some reason, the Tropang Texters just aren’t been performing up to par lately, and they are now on the brink of missing the playoffs.
Here are some numbers from this game in particular, where I think you can clearly see how Talk ‘N Text struggled on defense and in taking care of the basketball:
|Field Goals||FG%||eFG%||Assists||Turnovers||PTS from Turnovers|
But besides the poor defense and careless offense, Talk ‘N Text also struggled to take advantage of their 3-point shooting. They only went 10/27 (37%) from the three-point line, while allowing the STAR Hotshots to shoot 7/17 (41%). The Tropang Texters usually out-score their opponents by at least double digits in this category, and they obviously struggle when they don’t.
Speaking of struggling, Jayson Castro and Steffphon Pettigrew played much better than in their previous game, but their performances were still well below what we’re used to from them. Castro had 17 points and 8 assists, but it was from a poor 6 of 15 shooting (1 of 7 from deep) from the field, to go along with turning the ball over 5 times. Pettigrew likewise performed satisfactorily with 18 points and 10 rebounds, but he once again failed to break the 20-point margin, and his foul troubles continued to plague him in this game. He was outplayed by his import counterpart, Marqus Blakely (26 points, 16 rebounds), and this of course did not help Talk ‘N Text get the win.
The bench players of Talk ‘N Text also failed to keep up with their STAR Hotshots counterparts, as they only produced 17 points, while their opponents scored 50. When your starters have to score 76 of your final 93 points, it’s surely going to be difficult for any team to win.
Still, despite this loss, it isn’t all over yet for the Tropang Texters since they still have their last game against the KIA Carnival. One surprising stat from this game (at least for me), was that Talk ‘N Text had 20 offensive rebounds (CRAZY!), which led to 21 second chance points. On the other hand, the STAR Hotshots had just 9 offensive rebounds, which led to 10 second chance points. This helped the Tropang Texters keep up with the inside play of the opposing team, as they managed to score 42 inside the paint, while the Star Hotshots had 46. They can hopefully carry this over to their final contest, as the KIA Carnival have a beast on the inside in Hamady N’Diaye.
Featured Image Credit: PBA Images, pba.inquirer.net