Talk ‘N Text scored a come-from-behind 109-89 win over Blackwater on Saturday to stay un-defeated in five games in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Despite a wobbly performance in the first half, the Tropang Texters came back huge in the second quarter. TNT finally outscored the Elite in the third period, 34-28, and fourth, 35-18, to seal the win and grab the solo top spot. Mahindra and Barangay Ginebra with identical 4-1 records are sharing the second place.
“I came here too early and surpassed the floods. We’re a little bit rusty at the start and we’re trying to feel (Mychal) Ammons and he was trying to feel us out also,” Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico told reporters during the postgame interview.
Playmaker Jayson Castro, who arrived late in the game, finished with seven points and five assists in just 15 minutes of play. Replacement import Mychal Lemar Ammons had his debut with 18 points, 18 rebounds and two blocks for Talk ‘N Text.
“Jayson (Castro) was doubtful because something just happened to his wife. We’re just trying to play the best we can everyday. He (Mario Little) was just injured and we just put him in the injury reserved list, we’ll just wait and see. Mo (Tautuaa) is recovering from his injury and then he suffered an intestinal flu,” added Uichico.
Forward Ranidel De Ocampo led Talk ‘N Text with an impressive 20 points, including three treys, six rebounds and four assists. Rookie Jeth Troy Rosario had a huge output of 16 points and 13 rebounds while import Michael Mandaly contributed 15 points also for the Tropang Texters.
Blackwater had a good start leading, 22-21, at the end of the first quarter. It managed to sustain a good game in the second quarter and was still leading 43-40 at halftime. But the Elite’s trouble began after they lost big man JP Erram because of a bad fall in the second period.
Erram was rushed to the Saint Luke Hospital in Quezon City with a suspected medial collateral ligament injury. He finished with nine points, three boards, two steals and two blocks.
Besides Erram, veteran playmaker Mike Cortez was also sidelined in the first half because of a calf injury while import Eric Dawson didn’t return in the game midway through the third quarter because of back spasm.
Talk ‘N Text exploited the absence of Erram, Cortez and import Dawson in the second half to blast through Blackwater’s defense. Dawson finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
“It was an unfortunate incident. They’ve lost Erram who is a middle blocker and Dawson. They are crucial to Blackwater,” said Uichico.
It was one-sided game in the final period as the Tropang Texters unleashed a 17-2 run to establish a hefty 107-87 lead. TNT was not threatened from that point on.
The Elite absorbed their fourth loss after five games for a 1-4 win-loss record.
Reil Cervantes led Blackwater with 22 points.