Purefoods takes semis opener against TNT

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--On April Fools' Night, Purefoods went serious against Talk 'n Text early into Game 1 of their PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinal tie.

The Hotshots stepped on the gas in the first two-and-one-third quarters and held on to a 100-94 win against the Tropang Texters on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Purefoods jumped to a 21-point lead, 65-44, with around eight minutes left in the third period behind the hot hands of Denzel Bowles.

The team, however, had to overcome a late third canto rally from Talk 'n Text as the resilient opposition cut the lead to four, 74-70.

The Hotshots ended the quarter on a 7-0 run to put their lead back to double, but the Tropang Texters stayed in the game and drew to within one, 83-84, in the third quarter.

Talk 'n Text remained within reach of Purefoods despite the latter trying to pull away anew. But all it took was a wild follow-up by Mark Barroca to decide the outcome.

Barroca threw a Hail Mary shot after Bowles' three-point attempt only hit the backboard with the shotclock winding down.

Barroca's putback bounced off the rim before trickling in to put the Hotshots up, 97-89, with 45.7 seconds remaining, and they never looked back to take the 1-0 lead in their best-of-five series against the Tropang Texters.

Bowles finished with 49 points, 29 coming in the first half, and ten rebounds for Purefoods. Barroca only had four points, but the last two points became the turning point of the match.

Ivan Johnson led Talk 'n Text with 33 markers.

Box Scores:

Purefoods 100-Bowles 49, Yap 18, Mallari 8, Pingris 6, Simon 5, Barroca 4, Melton 3, Devance 3, Reavis 2, Maliksi 2, Pennisi 0

Talk 'n Text 94-Johnson 33, Castro 19, De Ocampo 15, Alas 9, Fonacier 9, Rosser 7, Washington 2, Williams 0, Seigle 0, Aban 0

Quarterscores: 33-17, 51-36, 81-70, 100-94