Talk ‘N Text leaned on a strong start before surviving Northern Luzon Expressway’s second half surge en route to an 85-80 win on Sunday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Commissioner’s Cup at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Riding on a strong first-half performance, the Tropang Texters established an early 19-point first quarter lead (34-15) before closing out halftime with 54-35 edge. Talk ‘N Text refused to give up its advantage in the second half to improve its win-loss record to 3-4.
NLEX narrowed the gap to just below four points in the second half especially in the payoff period but couldn’t complete the job done to suffer its fourth defeat. The Star Hotshots, NLEX and Talk ‘N Text are now tied in the team standings with similar 3-4 records.
“We really need this win to hopefully get over the hump because we are falling down in the standings,” Talk ‘N Text mentor Jong Uichico told reporters during the post game interview. “We have no projections just trying to get this team to play and win as many as we can.”
Import David Simon tallied 23 points on 11-of-27 shooting in the field along with 16 rebounds, three steals and four block shots before fouling out to lead the Tropang Texters, who missed the services of guards Jayson Castro and Larry Fonacier due to injuries.
Castro is nursing with achilles injury.
“We have to find a way to break the streak make shots. Larry (Fonacier) in the hospital with respiratory problems,” added Uichico.
Veteran Harvey Carey and Jai Reyes added 11 points each, while Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Ranidel De Ocampo contributed nine points apiece also for Talk ‘N Text. Rookie Jeth Troy Rosario finished only with eight points for Talk ‘N Text.
After slicing the gap to just 61-67 at the end of third period and just came within four points down the last minute mark, the Road Warriors though failed to connect the important attempts allowing the Tropang Texters to escape.
Import Al Thornton, a former National Basketball Association player, delivered 35 points on 10-of-17 shooting in the field plus 15 rebounds, while rookie Garvo Lanete scored 20 points including four triples to lead the Road Warriors.
Talk ‘N Text got more rebounds (56-43), assists (20-10), steals (8-4) and blocks (6-1) than sister team NLEX. The Tropang Texters forced the Road Warriors to commit 17 turnovers and converted those to 26 points.
In the second game, Ginebra outlasted Blackwater, 89-79, to improve its win-loss record to 4-3. Import Othyus Jeffers posted 23 points along with 14 rebounds and six assists to lead the Gin Kings.
Blackwater dropped to 3-4 win-loss record.