Tropang Texters boot out listless AcesBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
TALK ‘N Text snapped a two-game slide last night, but not after almost blowing a 20-point fourth quarter lead in an 80-72 victory over Alaska in the PBA Governors’ Cup at Mindanao Civic Center in Tubod, Lanao del Norte.
Paul Harris scored 25 points in the road game presented by Phoenix Fuel but it was Ranidel de Ocampo who drained the biggest triple of the night coming at the final 1:05 mark that sealed the deal for the Tropang Texters, 78-72, as Talk ‘N Text improved to 2-3.
The loss was the fifth straight for the Aces, who all but bowed out from further contention with a 1-6 card.
Larry Fonacier finished with 16 points for the Texters even as Jason Forte led the Aces with 24 and rookie Mac Baracael contributing 20.
Cyrus Baguio was held down to just five points by the Talk ‘N Text defense in the low-scoring ballgame, with LA Tenorio, Alaska’s superstar guard, failing to score.
Meanwhile, leaders B-Meg and Rain or Shine try to sustain their momentum when they battle separate foes today at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Llamados seek to extend the tournament-best run to six games when they tangle with the Petron Blaze Boosters at 6:30 p.m. while the Elasto Painters collide with the Barako Bull Energy earlier at 4:15.
“I don’t want to tell them (my players) that we’re in the playoffs already, because by doing that, it means we have achieved something,” Cone said last week. “So our attitude is to go out and keep winning games because we have a killer stretch ahead.”
Only the top six teams will make it to the first round of the playoffs, and a loss for Petron would shove it to the lower half of the field.
TALK ‘N TEXT 80—Harris 25, Fonacier 16, De Ocampo 9, Williams 8, Aguilar 6, Castro 4, Peek 4, Gamalinda 3, Aban 3, Alapag 2.
ALASKA 72—Forte 24, Baracael 20, Espinas 8, Thoss 6, Eman 5, Baguio 5, Custodio 2, Dela Cruz 2, Tenorio 0, Jazul 0, Cablay 0.
Quarters: 16-22, 45-35, 66-49, 80-72