Castro catches fire as TNT joins early logjam at top with win over Star

PBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

LUCENA--Jayson Castro sizzled for Talk 'n Text as the team pulled off a 91-86 victory over topsy-turvy Star at the Quezon Convention Center on Saturday night.

Castro fired 33 points on 12-of-24 shooting with five triples to lead the Tropang Texters, who won for the third straight time after a season-opening loss to Alaska.

The Hotshots, however, still put off some little drama late in the game.

Talk 'n Text appeared to be pulling away after building an eight-point cushion, 70-62, entering the fourth quarter.

But Star opened the payoff period with a 9-2 run to cut the lead to just one, 72-71, with 7:46 left.

Both teams went toe-to-toe later in the quarter until a pivotal 7-0 run capped by a Moala Tautuaa slam put the Texters up, 90-82, with 30.2 seconds remaining.

James Yap went for a quick layup to trim the lead back to six, 90-84, with 26.9 ticks to go.

In the inbound play, Marc Pingris picked the pass and found Yap for another layup. Yap, however, botched the shot.

A loose ball was called on the TNT side, and Pingris sank two free throws to cut the lead further, 90-86, with 19 seconds on the clock.

Star then chose to send rookie Troy Rosario to the line, and Rosario only made one of two free throws, giving the team another crack to draw closer.

But Yap airballed a long triple in Star's final play and TNT ran the clock to secure the win and put to naught a career game for Justin Melton.

The high-flying guard, who had to carry the scoring load with Yap struggling offensively, finished with 25 points for the Hotshots.

Talk 'n Text joined Alaska, Rain Or Shine, San Miguel, and GlobalPort at the top of the standings with a 3-1 record.

Star, on the other hand, continued its up-and-down trend as it once again lost after winning its previous outing and is now at 2-3.

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