• TNT blasts Phoenix for third win

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    TNT’s Kelly Williams dunks the ball unopposed during their game against Phoenix Petroleum in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday.

    TNT’s Kelly Williams dunks the ball unopposed during their game against Phoenix Petroleum in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday.

    Talk ‘N Text (TNT) routed Phoenix Petroleum, 117-98, on Friday for its third victory in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

    The Tropang Texters gave Nash Racela his first victory as head coach through well-executed offense and rock-solid defense.

    Veteran power forward Kelly Williams notched 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting in the field plus 10 rebounds, while last Governor’s Cup Best Player of the Conference Jayson Castro contributed another 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting in the field also for the Tropang Texters.

    “They just maximized my minutes and I like the effort of the guys,” Williams told The Manila Times. “We are moving in the right direction – better improvement from the Meralco game. It looks like we’re getting there but not that long.”

    “I have been with coach Nash and he knows my game. He is putting me in the position that I will succeed. I feel great and I keep my body and my mind strong,” he added.

    After closing the first quarter with a 28-22 lead, Talk ‘N Text dominated the second quarter with a 32-23 run highlighted by William’s eight-point output. The Tropang Texters were enjoying a 60-45 lead by the halftime break.

    TNT continued outscoring the Fuel Masters in the third frame, 30-24, to extend their advantage to 90-69 at the start of the payoff canto. The Tropang Texters were never threatened from that point onward.

    “I’m happy because we were able to get this win. “Coming from the collegiate ranks, we played every possession and that’s what we’re trying to develop,” Racela, the former coach of Far Eastern University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, told reporters during the postgame interview.

    Racela’s wards lost to Meralco, 98-87, last December 9.

    “Even when we’re up by 25, we still need to do the right things. This is not the main objective but we need to build as a team. We like to do a lot of things. We have to start with our attitude.”

    Forward Jeth Troy Rosario finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, while guard Kris Rosales and Moala Tautuaa had 14 and 11 points, respectively, for Talk ‘N Text. The Tropang Texters’ win-loss record improved to 3-2.

    Mark Borboran led Phoenix with 18 points and 16 rebounds, but his effort was not enough to save the Fuel Masters from absorbing back-to-back losses. The Fuel Masters’ win-loss record dropped to 2-3. Phoenix also lost to the Star Hotshots, 79-123, last week.

    Talk ‘N Text scored 34-of-42 free throws compared to the Fuel Masters’ 19-of-26. The Tropang Texters also posted more rebounds (51-35), assists (24-13) and points from turnovers (27-18) than Phoenix.

    JOSEF T. RAMOS

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