MANILA, Philippines – Jayson Castro knew not to give a Grand Slam champion team like Purefoods even an inch of breathing room down the stretch in game 2 of the best-of-5 semifinals series with Talk 'N Text.
So he squared his shoulders, lowered his head and charged through Purefoods determinedly, pouring 7 of his team-high 21 points in the final 3 minutes to come away with a 93-77 victory that leveled the series at one game apiece.
Castro scattered his points, making 6 in the opening period for a strong 21-13 Talk 'N Text start. But it was clutch baskets that did Purefoods in.
The 2013 FIBA Asia Mythical Team member took over after rookie Kevin Alas sparked the Texters' fourth quarter assault, pouring 10 of his 12 points in that frame.
Castro and Alas were just two of 6 total players in double figures for the Texters, who led by double figures in the first half before the Hotshots took the lead in the fourth.
Texters import Ivan Johnson finished with 16 points highlighted by this slam on the break.
The game was highly emotional and competitive, and was marred by a couple of scuffles that led to a flagrant 1 foul on Allein Maliksi and a number of technical fouls.
Here's a longer version if you're a fan of scuffles.
Longer version of Maliksi and Rosser getting tangled up. Maliksi called for flagrant 1 #pba2015 pic.twitter.com/MixtNZZF8s — Jane Bracher (@janebracher) April 6, 2015
Alas had his own score to settle with Mick Pennisi, as both grew physical in the second half.