PBA: TNT edges Ginebra in a crucial game; Meralco pulls a winBy Celest R. Flores
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines — They traded big baskets down the stretch, but Talk N’ Text hung on to defeat Ginebra, 113-111, Sunday night to boost its chances of a quarterfinals spot in the 2012 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Jason Castro knocked down two crucial freethrows and a tough bucket in the final 30 seconds, making up for a near-costly turnover, and the Texters survived for their third straight victory and 4-4 card.
But that was before the Gin Kings summoned a one last fiery run and a timely jumphook by Cedric Bozeman pulled them within 108-109 with 41.1 seconds left — yet were unable to complete the comeback.
Import Paul Harris, who just keeps on getting better, shrug off a listless start and scored all but two of his final 30-point output through three quarters.
Ranidel De Ocampo finished with 21 points, Larry Fonacier had 19 points, Castro had 18, and Japeth Aguilar added 10 points for Talk N’ Text.
The Texters, with the win, have created a half-a-game breather in the standings from the teams in a four-way log jam at 4-4, which is crucial in a single round eliminations.
Bozeman and Mark Caguiao scattered 32 points apiece for Ginebra, which is logged at 4-4 along with Petron, Meralco and Powerade.
Earlier, Meralco stymied skidding Powerade, 91-78, behind a fourth-quarter explosion from Sol Mercado.
Mercado starred in the pivotal 12-2 run in the payoff period that spelled the difference in a game which remained close in the first three quarters.
Mercado finished with 15 points, three rebounds and six assists while import Mario West paced the Bolts with 29 points and nine rebounds.
Scoring champion Gary David still scored 20 points for the Tigers but struggled with 11-of-29 shooting as he was suffocated by West’s defense all game.