Texters nail 6th straight victory; Alaska stakes streak against GinebraBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philipppies — Talk N’ Text rolled to a sixth straight win last night after holding Rain or Shine to four points in the final five minutes of an 80-77 PBA Philippine Cup victory presented by Phoenix Fuels in Victorias City.
Jimmy Alapag hit the go-ahead triple with 3:21 left as the defending champion Tropang Texters kept the solo lead and snapped Rain or Shine’s three-game run.
“We’re aware that we’re 6-0 but that’s not our main concern,” said Texters coach Norman Black. “We have a long way to go.”
The loss was just the second in six games for the Elasto Painters, who held the lead the entire game until that Alapag triple that gave the Texters a 74-73 edge.
Alaska vs Ginebra
With Cyrus Baguio given the clearance to play, Alaska will have an intact roster as it guns for a fourth straight win against Barangay Ginebra today at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Baguio, the Aces’ leading scorer and leader, hyper-extended his right knee in a lopsided victory against Air21 on Friday and a text message from coach Luigi Trillo said that “he can play” in the 6:30 p.m. tiff with the Gin Kings.
No major damages were seen in Baguio’s MRI tests Friday night, and the Aces will have a formidable five composed of JV Casio, Sonny Thoss, Dondon Hontiveros and super rookie Calvin Abueva when they try to pin a third straight loss on the Kings.
Ginebra is on a tailspin, losing its last three games after opening up with two victories, and another loss tonight would pull the Kings deeper in the lower half of the draw.
Meanwhile, San Mig Coffee, another powerhouse that is also struggling, tries to end a two-game slide earlier when it battles dangerous Barako Bull at 4:14 p.m.
The Mixers are installed as the solid picks against the Energy, a veterans-laden squad. San Mig, however, is coming off an 80-79 loss to Rain or Shine, a game where James Yap was thrown out after committing a flagrant foul.
Abueva, the No. 2 overall pick, finished with double-double efforts in his first two games and has averages of 14 points and 14 rebounds.
TALK ’N TEXT 80—Alapag 15, De Ocampo 13, Fonacier 12, Peek 11, Reyes 7,Williams 7, Dillinger 6, Raymundo 5, Carey 2, Ferriols 2, Gamalinda 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 77—Cruz 14, Rodriguez 13, Ibanes 9, Quinahan 9, Belga 8, Matias 7, Norwood 7, Tang 6, Chan 4, Arana 0.
Quarters: 19-22, 42-38, 63-67, 80-77