Talk ‘N Text, although bruised and battered from the recent Commissioner’s Cup, managed to pull out a gritty win against a young and energetic Meralco team last Wednesday, May 21. The Tropang Texters, fell back on their veteran know-how and relied on calm and controlled play to get the win against the Bolts.
Getting to the line
Surely, Talk ‘N Text knew that heading into this game they were going to be up against a more well-rested Meralco team. Having the more tired legs, they made a consistent effort to get to the free-throw line throughout the game to earn easy points. The rest of the shooting statistics were virtually even for both teams, except for the FT-shooting, which the Tropang Texters took full advantage of. Talk ‘N Text shot 27 attempts from the free-throw line and made 23 of them, while Meralco shot only 14 attempts and made only 9. That is a +14 point advantage in favor of the Tropang Texters, and in a game that was decided by just 6 points (Final score: 105-99), it made all the difference.
Two players in particular stood out for Talk ‘N Text in this effort from the free-throw line, and these were Othyus Jeffers and Jayson Castro. We all know that “The Blur” Jayson Castro is nicknamed as such because of his ability to blow past defenders and get to the rim, and he used his speed to its full advantage by getting past the Meralco guards, drawing fouls, and going 9/9 from the FT line for the game. Jeffers was likewise as aggressive as Castro in attacking the rim. He earned himself 14 FT attempts and converted 12 of them for the game. In fact, these two players accounted for 21 of the 23 made free-throw attempts of the Tropang Texters.
Valuing each possession
Again, in order to make sure that Meralco could not take advantage of their tired legs, Talk ‘N Text took care of the basketball and limited their turnovers. This prevented the Bolts from really running and getting out on the break, and allowed the Tropang Texters to play at their best with their half-court offense. The Bolts were only able to get 10 fastbreak attempts for the game, and earned only 15 points from them.
Talk ‘N Text only had 5 TOs, and no player on their team had more than 1. Meralco on the other hand turned the ball over 10 times, with 6 of those 10 coming from their import Terrence Williams. This in turn against lead to easy points for the Tropang Texters, as they had 22 TO points, where as the Bolts only had 6 TO points for the game.
Othyus Jeffers was a BEAST in his debut game for the Tropang Texters, putting up 38 points and grabbing 13 rebounds (6 of them offensive rebounds). As mentioned earlier, he also wreaked havoc on the inside as he drew fouls from every Meralco defender that was put up against him, and went 12/14 from the FT line. Jeffers also contributed on the defensive end with 2 steals for the game. Add all this to the fact that he had no turnovers for the game, and it’s clear to see that Jeffers has fitted in nicely to the Talk ‘N Text style of play.
Throughout the article it has been consistently mentioned that the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters are TIRED. And surely, their head coach Norman Black is well aware of this fact, which is why the minutes played for the Tropang Texters was very crucial to this win.
|Othyus Jeffers||Ranidel de Ocampo||Jayson Castro||Kelly Williams||Ryan Reyes||Larry Fonacier||Jimmy Alapag|
Othyus Jeffers was the only Tropang Texter to play more than 30 minutes, while 6 other key players played 20-30 minutes, which allowed them to be well-rested throughout the game.
|Terrence Williams||Cliff Hodge||Jared Dillinger||Reynel Hugnatan||Gary David|
In contrast, Meralco head coach Ryan Gregorio gave the bulk of the playing time to his 5 starters, and didn’t have any other player besides those 5 with more than 20 minutes played. Sunday Salvacion was the player for the Bolts with the 6th highest minutes played, but even he only had just 19 minutes for the game.