The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters now stand alone atop the PBA standings with a win behind returning import Paul Harris. Back in 2011, Paul Harris was the import that helped the Tropang Texters win the championship of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and once again he leads them to a win in just his first game back to the PBA. Harris finished with 37 points on 10/18 shooting from the field, and this includes going 6/8 from behind the 3-point line. He also found other ways to score and contribute, making 11/13 FTs, grabbing 14 rebounds (including 4 offensive rebounds), while dishing out 4 assists.

Paul Harris provided Talk 'N Text with some much needed inside presence. (PHOTO CREDIT: PBA IMAGES)

Paul Harris definitely provided Talk ‘N Text with some much needed inside presence. (PHOTO CREDIT: PBA IMAGES)

Besides the sizzling return of Paul Harris to the Tropang Texters, let’s look at some other key factors that led to this Talk ‘N Text win, starting with what was mentioned in the pregame primer.

What We Were Looking For

I mentioned that heading into this game there would be 3 key statistics that both teams would need to watch out for in order to come out with a win, and these were:

1) Effective free throw shooting – GlobalPort actually had the advantage in this category. They were 22/28 FTs (78.6% FT) for the game, while Talk ‘N Text was just 19/30 FTs (63.3% FT).

2) Managing turnovers – both teams took care of the ball well for this game, as they both kept their TOs below their conference averages. Talk ‘N Text had just 10 TOs while GlobalPort had 13 TOs, but the Tropang Texters were able to capitalize more on these turnovers as they scored 16 TO PTS while GlobalPort managed only 6 TO PTS.

3) Making the 3-ball – the Tropang Texters (as usual) were locked in and loaded from behind the arc as they made 10/29 3PTs (34.5% 3PT FG), while GlobalPort didn’t even make 1 three-pointer for the whole game (0/13 3PTs, 0% 3PT FG).

Not the debut game GlobalPort wanted from new acquisition Ronjay Buenafe. He was 0/6 from 3-point range. (PHOTO CREDIT: PBA IMAGES)

Not the debut game GlobalPort wanted from new acquisition Ronjay Buenafe. He was 0/6 from 3-point range. (PHOTO CREDIT: PBA IMAGES)

So that’s 2 out of 3 for Talk ‘N Text, and obviously the +3 point advantage GlobalPort had with their FT shooting was more than negated by the +30 and +10 point advantage the Tropang Texters had scoring on turnovers and shooting three-pointers. Aside from that, Talk ‘N Text also shot the ball much better from practically everywhere else on the field:

Team

3PTM 3PTA 3pt FG% 2PTM 2PTA 2PT FG% Total FG% eFG% TS%

Talk 'N Text

10 29 34.5% 24 50 48% 43% 49.4% 52.4%

GlobalPort

0 13 0% 30 63 47.6% 39.5% 39.5% 46.3%

On a side note, for those of you who aren’t familiar with eFG% and TS% you might want to visit our stats primer to learn more about these and other advanced statistics in basketball.

Unexpected Surprises

The Good Old Fastbreak

For the 2014 PBA Governor’s Cup, the Tropang Texters have averaged only 5.8 fastbreak attempts and 7.2 fastbreak points per game. In this game against GlobalPort however, they were able to take 15 fastbreak attempts and get 21 fastbreak points out of them. Compare this to only 10 fastbreak attempts and 11 fastbreak points for GlobalPort, and it is clear to see that Talk ‘N Text had the advantage. Perhaps this is a sign that the Tropang Texters have finally caught their second wind after the end of the Commissioner’s Cup.

Harris made 6/8 from beyond the arc as he scorched the GlobalPort defense. (PHOTO CREDIT: SPIN.PH)

Harris made 6/8 from beyond the arc as he scorched the GlobalPort defense throughout the entire game. (PHOTO CREDIT: SPIN.PH)

Local Defense

Dior Lowhorn has been an offensive juggernaut on the inside for GlobalPort leading up to this game. In his first two games with the team, the former Ginebra import was averaging 35.5 points on 29/49 shooting from the field (59.2% FG). In this one however the Tropang Texters managed to limit Lowhorn to just 22 points on 5/13 shooting from the field (38.5% FG). This was of course due to the defense played by local players like De Ocampo, Williams, and Baclao (who actually had 2 stls and 2 blks in this game), to name a few. Coach Norman Black has never been shy about going through his entire roster during a game, and he made it a point to have the local players guard Lowhorn, instead of Harris. I would assume this was so that Harris could expend his energy elsewhere like on offense or playing help defense and rebounding. This set-up allowed Harris to play extended minutes, and so coach Black was also able limit the minutes of his local players throughout the game (an added bonus).

Name

Paul Harris Ranidel de Ocampo Jimmy Alapag Ryan Reyes Jayson Castro Kelly Williams Larry Fonacier Nonoy Baclao

Minutes Played

43mins 29mins 25mins 25mins 24mins 23mins 20mins 19mins

Paul Harris was the only Tropang Texter to play more than 30 minutes, while everyone else played less than that.