By Jonah Bronstein
Weakened by a bout with food poisoning the night before and doggedly defended by the opposition, Niagara Falls native Paul Harris was held to a season-low 15 points Sunday, but his Talk n Text teammates stepped up to secure a 104-88 win over Barangay Ginebra that gave the Texters a 2-1 lead in the Philippines Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup championship series.
“It was a real team effort,” Harris said by phone after the game.
Prior to the game, Texters coach Chot Reyes told his team that he heard one of the Kings players on the radio talking about how their face-guarding techniques were limiting Harris’ effectiveness, and how that now gave them the upper hand in the series. Talk n Text had won the series opener 102-83, but the Kings came back to win Game 2 108-106.
“They said if they stop Paul Harris, they stop Talk n Text,” Harris said. “The players on my team heard that and they went out and really played. They really stepped up.”
Ranidel de Ocampo led the Texters with 21 points, hitting 5 of 7 attempts from 3-point range. Jason Castro had 15 points, Harvey Carey had 13, Jimmy Alapag scored 11, and Ali Peek had 10.
Harris also hauled in eight rebounds.
Game 3 is Wednesday. The game, which tips at 7 a.m. local time, can be viewed online at www.philstar.com/pbalive.aspx.