It was a highly contested game with both teams trying to make sure that they get the best possible situation for themselves heading into the quarterfinals. To give you an idea of how close this game was, it featured eight deadlocks and 18 lead changes throughout the 48 minutes. Still, in basketball only one team can be the winner and Talk ‘N Text eventually pulled away in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.

But like I said, this game was THAT close, and that’s why it was rather difficult to figure out what really helped Talk ‘N Text get the win just by looking at the numbers. Without the benefit of a replay I could watch over and over again, here are some key statistics that I think helped the Tropang Texters eventually beat Ginebra, 96-92.

KEPT THE REBOUNDS CLOSE

Ginebra boasts one of the tallest, if not the tallest frontcourt in the PBA with guys like Slaughter (2.13 m), Aguilar (2.08 m), Reyes (2.01 m), and Mason (1.96 m). Talk ‘N Text on the other hand only has one player above 2 meters, and that is forward Kelly Williams (2.01 m). Even centers Nonoy Baclao and Rob Reyes barely reach that mark at 1.98 m each, which is why I figured that once again Talk ‘N Text would be taken advantage of on the offensive boards. For the 2014 Governor’s Cup, Talk ‘N Text has actually lost the offensive rebounding in all but two games, but at least against Ginebra they were only out rebounded by 4 on the offensive glass.

TEAM

OFF. REBS TOT. REBS 2CH PTS

Talk 'N Text

11 45 4

Ginebra

15 51 10

The defensive rebounding of the Tropang Texters also of course helped limit the second-chance point opportunities of Ginebra.

GANG UP ON THE BIGS

The frontcourt of Talk 'N Text played big against the giants of Ginebra (PHOTO CREDIT: PBA IMAGES)

Talk ‘N Text players hurry to help Harris on the inside against Slaughter (PHOTO CREDIT: PBA IMAGES)

I’ve already mentioned that Ginebra’s frontcourt is a huge load to handle on the inside, specifically their starters Slaughter and Mason. In this game however Talk ‘N Text was able to limit the inside scoring of both of these players by swarming them on the inside every time either touched the ball. Slaughter (5 of 13 from the field) and Mason (5 of 15) were just a combined 10 of 28 (35.7 percent) from the field, both scoring just 15 points each. Mason did have a big game on the boards at least with 19 rebounds, but Slaughter managed to secure just 9 rebounds for the game. Compared to their conference averages, both could have performed better in this game.

CONFERENCE AVG

PTS REBS FG%

SLAUGHTER

15.1 11.7 52.9%

MASON

22.2 14.6 46.1%

GAME VS TNT

PTS REBS FG%

SLAUGHTER

15 9 38.5%

MASON

15 19 33.3%

CLOSING OUT GAMES

Let’s face it, great teams just find ways to win when it counts the most. Heading into the 4th quarter, Talk ‘N Text was down 55-67, and they went out and out scored Ginebra 41-25 in that quarter alone. The fact that they managed a 41-point quarter is already in itself an amazing feat, but to do it in the fourth quarter, down by 12, and to eventually win by 4, is just the mark of a team that knows how to win.

Paul Harris carried Talk 'N Text to a win with his 31 points against Ginebra (PHOTO CREDIT: PBA IMAGES)

Paul Harris carried Talk ‘N Text to a win with his 31 points against Ginebra (Photo Credit: Spin.ph)

Of course a big part of that fourth quarter outburst of Talk ‘N Text was their main gunner, Paul Harris. Although he didn’t sizzle from the outside like in their previous game, he still managed to find ways to score (13 of 14 from the line) and finished with 31 big points. He was the leading scorer for the game, and no other player even came close to his 31-point performance (18 points was the next highest total).