Texters beat Mixers, clinch playoffs edge
MANILA, Philippines—Talk ‘N Text came back from a weeklong break not skipping a beat at all.
Sharp as ever, the Tropang Texters on Monday night won a seventh straight game and booked top spot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs after subduing San Mig Coffee, 81-75, at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Breaking away in the second quarter using unforgiving defense and deadly outside sniping, the Tropang Texters never looked back and can now take it easy in the last two weeks of the elimination round after grabbing a twice-to-beat edge this early.
“I like where we are now—No. 1—the only thing is that it’s too early,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black. “Now it’s the hard part. We need to keep momentum. It’s never something you look forward to—having a long break—especially if you’re winning.”
Richard Howell scored 25 points and had 21 rebounds and Ranidel de Ocampo and Jason Castro tossed in 13 apiece for TNT.
It was the defense of the Texters—especially in the second quarter—that propelled them to several 21-point spreads, dooming the Mixers to their second straight loss and into third place in the standings with a 3-2 card.
Talk ‘N Text held San Mig scoreless for more than six minutes in the second quarter to build a 42-21 lead with 2:42 left before the halftime break.
The Texters actually allowed just 11 San Mig points in that period and yielded just 26 points at the half as no local Mixers scored more than three points.
“We knew we had to play defense if we wanted to beat San Mig,” Black, who could lose his last two games and still grab No. 1 because his Texters have won against both idle San Miguel Beer and the Mixers, continued. “Our defense held up for most of the game.”
Solid on both ends even with an import that was just feeling his way through, Rain or Shine ripped Globalport, 99-75, in the opener.
Although Wayne Chism got saddled with fouls early, the Elasto Painters still proved too much for the Batang Pier to handle as Rain or Shine rose to a level 3-3 card to enhance its playoff chances.
The loss was the seventh straight for the Batang Pier, who still couldn’t get their local crew to come up with spirited support to their hardworking import, Evan Brock.
Paul Lee led the torrid local assault for the Painters, shooting 11 of his 21 points in the first quarter.
RAIN OR SHINE 99—Lee 21, Chism 17, Almazan 13, Tiu 10, Belga 9, Norwood 9, Arana 6, Cruz 4, Uyloan 2, Chan 2, Nuyles 2, Ibanes 2, Rodriguez 2, Tang 0, Teng 0.
GLOBALPORT 75—Brock 25, Washington 14, Matias 10, Cabagnot 7, Garcia 6, Chua 4, Salva 4, Sharma 4, Romeo 1, Yee 0, Ponferrada 0, Salvador 0, Macapagal 0.
Quarters: 29-26, 51-38, 75-62, 99-75
TALK N’ TEXT 81—Howell 25, De Ocampo 13, Castro 13, Fonacier 8, Canaleta 6, Reyes 5, Alapag 5, Williams 4, Carey 2, Baclao 0.
SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE 75—Mays 27, Sangalang 15, Mallari 9, Simon 9, Yap 5, Barroca 4, Pingris 3, Melton 3, De Ocampo 0, Devance 0.
Quarters: 19-15, 44-26, 59-46, 81-75
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