#PBA2015 Commish Cup Semis Roundup: April 11, 2015

The Talk N Text Tropang Texers booked the final ticket to the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals after they completed a semis conquest of the Purefoods Star Hotshots. 

Jayson Castro was unconscious again from long range.

Game recap (adapted from Interkasyon):

Box scores.
Jayson Castro was brilliant almost all game long but saved his biggest shots for the fourth quarter, where he scored 13 points, as he led Talk ‘N Text to a third straight win over Purefoods, 79-66, to clinch their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series, 3-1, on Saturday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

After a 28-point performance in Game Three, Castro was even better in this one, matching his career-high with 33 points, including going 7-for-11 from three-point range, along with 5 rebounds and 4 assists.

Import Ivan Johnson finished 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Tropang Texters, while Ranidel De Ocampo and Jay Washington added 12 apiece.

Talk ‘N Text was able to overcome a slow start, scoring only 28 points and falling behind by double-figures in the first half before getting the job done in the second half.

Purefoods import Denzel Bowles, who was averaging 41 points per game in the series, finished with just 14.

Unfortunately for him, his teammates were not able to make up the difference as no one else scored more than 12.

Game Four had a vastly different feel from the previous one, with Purefoods determined to ground Talk ‘N Text’s deadly running game.

Purefoods led, 38-28, at the halftime break with Talk ‘N Text shooting 10-for-40 (25%) from the field and 4-for-18 (22.2%) from three-point range

The third quarter started out much the same, with neither team finding the basket in the first two minutes. De Ocampo, however, finally broke the drought with a hook shot, and Castro let the floodgates wide open as he scored 10 straight points all by his lonesome.

The teams traded big shots in the fourth, but it was Talk ‘N Text that made the telling run in the final period.

Johnson scored six straight points on an and-one play and a three-pointer before Castro knocked down a big step-back jumper from the top of the key to cap an 8-0 burst that made it a five-point game, 64-59, for Talk ‘N Text.

Marc Pingris made a basket that brought them back to within three, but Castro came up big yet again, isolating Purefoods’ ace defender up top and drilling in a three-pointer in his face.

TNT now faces top-seeded Rain or Shine in the Finals, which will be a best-of-seven affair. TNT lost to ROS in their only elims game, but that was when both teams still had different imports (Richard Howell for TNT and Rick Jackson for ROS). 

The schedule of the Finals is as follows: 
Game 1 - April 15 - MOA Arena
Game 2 - April 17 - Araneta Coliseum
Game 3 - April 19 - Araneta Coliseum
Game 4 - April 22 - Araneta Coliseum
Game 5 - April 24 - Araneta Coliseum (if necessary)
Game 6 - April 26 - Araneta Coliseum (if necessary)
Game 7 - April 29 - Araneta Coliseum (if necessary)

Line of the Game: Jayson Castro (TNT) - 33pts, 5rebs, 4asts, 2stls, 7 triples, 12/21 FGs.

Joe Devance (L) and the rest of the Hotshots were sent packing by Matt Rosser (R) and the Texters.

Mark Barroca played better this time around, but not even his efforts were enough to push Purefoods to the win.

All images are from the PBA.

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