Texters alive, rip Gin KingsBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
GAME TODAY(Cuneta Astrodome)
7:15 p.m. – Talk ‘N Text vs Barangay Ginebra
TALK ‘N Text needed a big time player in the clutch last night and Jimmy Alapag, as he has done so many times in the past, was again that man for the Tropang Texters.
The 5-foot-8 veteran drained three straight triples and had 12 points in the final 6:26 as the Texters hacked out a 113-99 decision of Barangay Ginebra to forge another clash with the Gin Kings for the final playoff slot in the PBA Governors’ Cup at Mall of Asia Arena.
Talk ‘N Text actually blew a 14-point first half lead and was dragged into a nip-and-tuck game by the Kings in the fourth before Alapag stepped up with a long-distance shooting performance that has been the trademark of the former MVP’s career.
Ginebra was breathing down the necks of the Texters, 89-92, after LA Tenorio stripped Alapag of possession for a coast-to-coast layup when Alapag asserted himself.
The 2010 MVP immediately redeemed himself by completing a three-point play off Jay-Jay Helterbrand. With the Texters ahead at 98-93, Alapag canned the first of those triples from way, way out, and after Tenorio hit two charities off a Harvey Carey foul, hit two straight in a 25-second span that completely snuffed the fight out of the game Kings, 107-95, 1:35 left.
“He’s come through for us so many times,” Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black said of Alapag, whose two triples against South Korea helped Gilas Pilipinas bag the silver medal in the Fiba-Asia Championship last month.
Carey was also big for Black, as the burly power forward finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds coming off the bench. He also helped neutralize Ginebra import Dior Lowhorn in the fourth period.
Lowhorn had 31 points to pace the Kings, but was scoreless in the fourth quarter as Black threw several defenders on him.
The Texters and the Kings tangle again today in a KO match for the eighth and last playoff berth. The game is set at 7:15 p.m. at Cuneta Astrodome with the winner advancing to face No. 1 Petron Blaze, needing to beat the Boosters two straight times.
TALK ‘N TEXT 113—Fells 26, Carey 18, Peek 16, Alapag 15, Fonacier 12, Castro 11, Ferriols 8, De Ocampo 5, Anthony 2, Reyes R. 0, Aquino 0, Reyes J. 0, Aban 0.
GINEBRA 99—Lowhorn 31, Caguioa 29, Tenorio 18, Baracael 7, Helterbrand 6, Ellis 2, Maierhofer 2, Wilson 2, Mamaril 2, Labagala 0, Raymundo 0.
Quarters: 30-30, 62-54, 79-79, 113-99