Texters seize 2-1 cushion; Santos is Govenors’ Cup’s best playerBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA—Firing on all cylinders, Talk ‘N Text overwhelmed Petron Blaze, 132-105, Friday night to grab a 2-1 series lead in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With key reserves Jayson Castro and Larry Fonacier leading the way, the Tropang Texters put on a shooting clinic, flustering the Energy Boosters with an astonishing 53-of-79 clip that allowed them to move within two wins of completing the Grand Slam.
Castro poured 21 of his 23 points in a sensational opening half and Fonacier scattered all of his 16 in the first two periods as the Tropang Texters came alive from 9-20 down in the first five minutes to coast to the runaway victory.
Talk ‘N Text’s awesome show of firepower finally justified what this series was earlier billed: A mismatch.
But coach Chot Reyes refused to be carried away by the huge winning margin.
“All it means is we have a 2-1 series lead. If only we had extra points for big margins,” said Reyes, whose squad enjoyed a lead of as many as 41 points early in the fourth quarter. “But that’s no indication of how hard the battle was.”
The Tropang Texters lost the series opener, 88-89, on Danny Ildefonso’s baseline jumper at the buzzer. But they rallied to tie the series with a masterful 103-85 victory in Tubod, Lanao del Norte Wednesday night.
Talk ‘N Text’s scintillating shooting night of 67 percent was one of the highest in the finals. They shot 16 of 28 from beyond the arc with Jimmy Alapag going 5-of-7, Fonacier hitting 4-of-7 and import Scottie Reynolds going 2-of-5.
Reyes added a touch of controversy to his coaching rivalry with Agustin, claiming that the Petron mentor challenged him to fistfight after the game.
Earlier, Arwind Santos bagged his first major individual award last night when he was named Best Player of the Conference.
Rain or Shine reinforcement Arizona Reid was adjudged Best Import.
TALK ‘N TEXT 132—Castro 23, Reynolds 17, Fonacier 16, Aban 15, Alapag 15, Williams 12, Reyes 9, De Ocampo 8, Carey 6, Peek 6, Dillinger 3, Lao 2, Oreta 0, Alvarez 0.
PETRON 105—Grundy 26, Miranda 22, Ildefonso 18, Guevarra 14, Cabagnot 9, Salvacion 5, Pennisi 5, Santos 3, Hubalde 3, Baclao 0, Duncil 0.
Quarters: 24-24, 63-52, 103-70, 132-105