Texters nip Batang Pier, grab solo lead

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IMPORT Ivan Johnson fired 35 points, while Ranidel de Ocampo added 25 points as Talk ‘N Text crushed Globalport Batang Pier, 96-88, to grab solo leadership on Sunday in the 40th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup elimination round at the Araneta Coliseum.

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Both teams fought tooth-to-nail in the first three quarters until the 6-foot-7 Johnson waxed hot with three straight baskets and De Ocampo nailed back-to-back baskets to widen their lead to its biggest, 90-78, still 3:50 remaining.

“It’s a good comeback despite losing against KIA. It’s a good win. It’s going to be an All-Star break, so we can work on something. Our good defense translates on our offense. They played 48 minutes of continuous effort. We still want to finish at the top. We still want to keep on winning kailangang focused on the next games,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico.

Uichico praised Johnson for his aggressiveness throughout the game. He scored 16 points in the first half alone to lift the Tropang Texters to a 49-46 advantage at the half.

With the victory, the Tropang Texters grabbed solo leadership with 6-2 win-loss slate, while dropping Batang Pier to solo seventh spot with 4-4 card.

Besides Johnson and De Ocampo, also helping a lot for the Tropang Texters were Ganuelas-Rosser with 13 and eight from Larry Fonacier, while Terrence Romeo paced Batang Pier with 20 points, import Calvin Warner contributed 19, Stanley Pringle had 16 and 10 from Keith Jensen.

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