The NLEX Road Warriors notched their very first victory against the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, 107-101, in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday.
The Tropang Texters started the game strong establishing a 26-21 advantage against the Road Warriors as they ended the initial 12 minutes of action.
In the second canto, NLEX fought hard, with Sean Anthony posting19-points but was still unable to overtake the Texters going into the break.
Talk ‘N Text sustained its effective offensive as play resumed for the third period enjoying a 77-70 lead in spite of the Road Warriors’ counter-offensive.
NLEX finally took control of the game in the final stretch after the back-to-back three-point shots by Jonas Villanueva that enabled the Road Warriors to post a 99-94 lead with less than two minutes left in play.
Talk ‘N Text exhausted all means to pull a comeback in the dying minutes of regulation but the Road Warriors proved to be too strong that night. It was the Tropang Texters’ second loss in the tournament.
Anthony notched a total of 32 points and 12 rebounds for NLEX while rookie guard Simon Enciso posted 19 markers, 13 of which were recorded in the third period.
As expected, veteran big man Asi Taulava stepped up for the Road Warriors with 18 points and 18 boards.
The Texters’ court general Jason Castro finished with 20 points while Larry Fonacier contributed 18 points.
“It’s a really a nice feeling to beat the Talk ‘N Text for the first time since the entry of NLEX,” head coach Boyet Fernandez said during the post-match press conference.
Fernandez added that he is delighted with the performance of his wards particularly with the consistent effort that Anthony displayed.
“It’s nice to get back on the winning track after two straight losses. We’re happy to win this game,” he said, adding that the win will be a great boost to their bid to move up the ranks following their two-game losing skid.
NLEX is now tied with Talk ‘N Text, Barako Bull Energy and Globalport, all four teams having three wins and two losses each.
In the first game, the Alaska Aces thumped the Globalport Batang Pier, 123-104 for their fourth win in the first conference of this year’s PBA season. The victory also allowed them to keep their share of the top spot.
Cyrus Baguio notched 17 points through a 50 percent shooting performance; an answer to the 33-point explosion of Globalport star and Gilas standout Terrence Romeo.
Alaska’s offense immediately denied the Batang Pier of a chance to execute their game plan. The Aces led by 10 points at the half, 60-50.
The Aces’ insidious offense continued through the third period with the frontline trio of Sonny Thoss, Vic Manuel and Calvin Abueva leading the charge to end the quarter strong with 94-78 lead.
Despite the efforts of the backcourt duo of Stanley Pringle and Romeo, Globalport still did not overcome the Aces until the end of regulation.
Thoss finished with 14 points and eight rebounds while Manuel had 16 markers and eight boards.
Abueva posted 11 points while guards RJ Jazul and Chris Banchero each contributed 14 points.
Pringle and Billy Mamaril led Globalport with 16 and 13 points, respectively.