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Hotshots turn back Tropang Texters in triple OT thriller

By Ivan Saldajeno

DAVAO--Purefoods played through three overtime periods before finally nailing a 118-117 victory against Talk 'n Text in a PBA Commissioner's Cup tie Saturday night at the USEP Gym.

In a showdown reminiscent of Game 7 of the 2012 Commissioner's Cup Finals between the two clubs, Denzel Bowles drilled the game-winner with 7.1 seconds left in the third overtime to lift the Hotshots to the hard-fought win against the Tropang Texters.

Both teams played toe-to-toe throughout the regulation, but Purefoods came close to winning the game sooner as Marc Pingris followed up a Mark Barroca miss with only 0.7 second left in the fourth quarter. The referees nullified the shot as time already expired before Pingris' shot, forcing the first overtime.

Talk 'n Text then had a huge chance to steal the win at extra time as Ranidel De Ocampo converted a wide-open layup with ten seconds left, but Bowles answered with his own and blocked Jayson Castro's game-winner to further extend the match.

Both teams played tremendous defense against each other, and the play further continued as neither squad scored the go-ahead basket in the last 55.2 seconds of the second extension. The defensive stand of both teams continued in the first two minutes of the third extra time.

Barroca finally scored the first points of the third overtime after converting a teardrop from the baseline and getting a foul from Matt Rosser. Barroca nailed the free throw to put Purefoods up, 110-107.

Jay Washington answered with a follow-up to Danny Seigle's missed free throws to cut the lead to one with 2:29 left. Washington later tied the match, 112-all with a triple following a Bowles layup.

Bowles then made two charities off a Washington foul to put the Hotshots up again, but Kevin Alas drained a jumper to knot the game again at 114-all.

James Yap gave Purefoods the lead again, 116-114, after scoring a turnaround one-hander with 51.2 seconds left.

Washington retook the lead for Talk 'n Text, 117-116, as he drained another three-pointer with 14.3 seconds remaining.

But Bowles got the friendly roll after attempting an awkward-looking 15-footer and put the Hotshots ahead again, 118-117. They escaped with the win after their defense stifled Seigle enough to milk much of the remaining 7.1 seconds before handing the ball to Washington, who misfired as the buzzer sounded.

Bowles led Purefoods with 30 points, 15 rebounds, six assists, and four blocks. This was his best performance against Talk 'n Text since he led the franchise in overtime of its Game 7 win in the 2012 Commissioner's Cup championship.

Ivan Johnson scored 26 markers for Talk 'n Text, but he failed to finish the last 9:40 of the match as he fouled out. Jayson Castro also became a huge loss for the club as he left the game with cramps after scoring 24.

Box Scores:

Purefoods 118-Bowles 30, Mallari 17, Yap 15, Devance 14, Barroca 13, Simon 10, Maliksi 9, Pingris 7, Reavis 3, Taha 0, Melton 0, Pennisi 0

Talk 'n Text 117-Johnson 26, Castro 24, Rosser 20, Washington 19, De Ocampo 12, Fonacier 6, Alas 6, Carey 2, Seigle 2, Aban 0, Miller 0

Quarterscores: 22-18, 46-43, 66-70, 91-91, 103-103, 107-107, 118-117