MANILA, Philippines -- Talk 'N Text once again squared up the PBA Commissioners Cup finals Sunday night in fighting with a great sense of urgency and pummeling B-Meg, 100-85, in a game marred by a melee when the result was already beyond doubt.
Forwards Jarred Dillinger and Larry Fonacier came out firing, boosting the Tropang Texters’ offensive sock as they again sprang back from a loss and reduced the best-of-seven series to a best-of-three affair.
|B-Meg's James Yap goes against Talk N Text's Jarred Dillinger, Harvey Carey and Donnell Harvey in Game 4 of their best-of-7 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals. The Texters won,100-85, to tie the series at 2-2. Photo by Marc John Villanueva for ABS-CBNnews.com.
It was actually a lopsided game, deprived of excitement and drama until reserve Talk 'N Text player Pamboy Raymundo committed a flagrant foul fresh from the bench with his team wrapping up the victory in the closing minutes.
The rookie guard from San Sebastian College incurred two flagrant fractions in playing just 14 seconds in this game that drew a crowd of nearly 19,000 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The crowd had started to line up for the exits with TNT enjoying a 96-81 lead when Raymundo planted an elbow on Josh Urbiztondo, triggering a near free-for-all.
Tension grew as Joe Devance flicked the ball on Raymundo’s face, then the Talk 'N Text player retaliated by hitting the tall B-Meg forward on the nape. Both players were thrown out of the contest.
“It’s unfortunate that that thing happened when the outcome had been decided. But it’s the finals. Emotions are high and everyone is on the edge. It’s dependent on which team is able to stay focus and play above an beyond the physicality, the crowd, officiating and so forth and so on,” said Talk 'N Text coach Chot Reyes.
B-Meg coach Tim Cone, however, insisted there’s no excuse on what Raymundo did.
So upset was Cone that he left the B-Meg bench and headed to their dugout with over a minute left to play.
“I was upset and I didn’t want to be there to get in trouble,” said Cone, who, before leaving, tumbled down to the floor after being bumped by referee Art Herrera.
“I got stepped on, bumped and couldn’t control my balance. I was surprised he didn’t help me out and did not say anything,” said Cone.
Raymundo’s misconduct obviously put a dent on Talk 'N Text’s sterling performance in the contest.
Dillinger and Fonacier stood out in making 18 points apiece with Jason Castro, Donnell Harvey, Jimmy Alapag and Ranidel de Ocampo adding at least 10 each.
“All our conversation in practice and before the game centered on coming out and playing good Talk 'N Text basketball for 48 minutes,” said Reyes.
The Texters fought the Llamados toe-to-toe in the first quarter before establishing control and starting to pull away in the second period.
Averaging only 3.7 points in the series’ first three games, Dillinger made 14 just in the first half in this contest on two-of-four three-pointers and four-of-eight twinners.
Dillinger and De Ocampo tossed in seven apiece as Talk 'N Text mounted a searing second-quarter assault and sat on a 47-35 cushion at halftime.
The two teams fought through two deadlocks and five lead changes before the Texters took the opening quarter at 25-24.