• Ginebra, TNT notch victories

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    Barangay Ginebra and Talk ‘N Text both scored resounding victories against their respective rivals on Wednesday in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

    Led by veteran guard Mark Caguioa and big man Greg Slaughter, the Gin Kings relied on a spectacular second half game to blast the GlobalPort Batang Pier 85-70, stretching their winning streak to three.

    Caguioa, the 2001 rookie of the year winner, shot 10-of-20 in the field for 22 points in addition to five steals and four rebounds while Slaughter finished with 22 points plus 21 rebounds. Ginebra, with the victory improved its win-loss record to 4-3.

    “That team is going to be a beast, glad we played them early,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone during the post-game interview. “Backcourt guys took the challenge especially LA did a good job on Pringle and Terrence. It was easier for them because they know they have Greg and Japeth and Jervy.”

    Playmaker LA Tenorio finished with 18 points and six assists also for Ginebra.

    Down by 13-23 after the first quarter, GlobalPort returned strong in the second period outscoring Ginebra 28-13 to post a 41-36 lead by halftime. Last year’s rookie of the year Pringle scored 10 points in the second period but posted only three in the second half.

    The Gin Kings outscored the Batang Pier in the third quarter, 23-14, and fourth quarter, 26-15, to seal the win.

    Anthony Jay Washington led GlobalPort with 18 points and nine rebounds.

    The Batang Pier’s win-loss record fell to 3-3.

    In the first game, Jayson Castro posted 26 points, six assists and three steals as Talk ‘N Text through a strong second half offensive beat Blackwater 109-98. It was the Tropang Texters’ fourth victory after six games.

    Combo guard Castro had an 8-of-16 overall total field goal attempts and 5-of-8 shots in the foul line.

    Rookie Jeth Troy Rosario finished with 17 points plus eight rebounds while guard Larry Fonacier had 16 points via 6-of-11 shooting in the field. The Tropang Texters now have a 4-2 win-loss record.

    “I asked them why we couldn’t defend and I think they did a better job in the second half defending although they still scored 98 points,” Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico told reporters during the post-game interview. “It is not indicative of their total.”

    “Troy is getting more comfortable part of growing pains, very young to learn more things, the more they get to play. Hopefully, we get to the playoffs we need the two rookies to be a big part whether it is rebounding defense and getting to know their niche in the team.”

    Despite their defensive struggle in the first two quarters that allowed the Elite to establish a 51-50 lead at the halftime, the Texters bounced back in the third quarter by stifling Blackwater’s backcourt offense.

    Talk ‘N Text’s rock-solid defense limited Blackwater’s offense to only 6-of-21 total field goals (29 percent) in the third period. The Texters, on the other hand, registered 11-of-25 total field goals in that period (44 percent).

    They outscored the Elite in the third quarter 28-17 to seize the lead 78-68 at the start of final canto.

    “Defense is our primary concern whether team or individual it still has to be worked on,” added Uichico.

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