ANTIPOLO—Talk ‘N Text and San Mig Coffee remained in their lofty perches after coming up with similar second half breakaways to rout separate foes last night in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations at the Ynares Center here.
The defending champion Tropang Texters polished off the Meralco Bolts in the fourth period for a 109-98 decision, which came after the Mixers blew Barako Bull off the floor with a whirlwind finish to the third period for a 93-73 rout.
Jason Castro scored 23 points and Kelly Williams had his best scoring performance of the season with 19 as the duo led four other Texters in twin digits and into their eighth win in 10 games for the solo lead.
“We’re aiming for a top two slot, that’s our goal right now,” Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black said. “This is a big win for us, because coming in, we were playing the top offensive team in the league.”
The Mixers dropped 11 unanswered points to close out the third period and take a 10-point bubble into the fourth, a lead that the Energy, who played with new head coach Bong Ramos, were never able to put a dent on the rest of the way.
San Mig Coffee rose to 7-2 to stay in second while dealing the Energy a third straight loss in a 3-7 card, even as Meralco dropped to 5-4.
Peter June Simon was at the forefront of that telling blitzkrieg before James Yap rejoined the scoring tear in the fourth that buried the Energy with several 20-point leads, the first coming at the 5:30 mark after a Jonas Villanueva layup.
“It was a key win for us,” San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone said.
Meanwhile, Air21 puts a three-game winning streak on the line today against Rain or Shine as elimination round action presented by Phoenix Fuels goes to Mindanao Civic Center in Tubod, Lanao del Norte.
Game is set at 6:30 p.m.
Barako Bull, which fired Junel Baculi on Tuesday, was held scoreless for close to five minutes after having inched to within six points, allowing the Mixers to build that 20-point lead.
Yap finished with 22 points and nine rebounds to pace the Mixers, who actually started out cold, held to just 10 points in the first quarter.
“We didn’t like our tempo in the first period,” Cone said. “Our first group didn’t come out (well). They did a better job in the second half, though.”
SAN MIG COFFEE 93—Yap 22, Simon 20, Reavis 12, Intal 11, Devance 7, Villanueva 5, Barroca 4, Gonzales 4, De Ocampo 4, Ramos 2, Ponferrada 2, Pacana 0, Pingris 0.
BARAKO BULL 73—Tubid 17, Najorda 10, Yap 9, Seigle 9, Anthony 8, Alvarez 6, Kramer 6, Ballesteros 4, Pennisi 4, Co 0, Marcelo 0, Cervantes 0.
Quarters: 10-15, 36-36, 67-57, 93-73
TALK ’N TEXT 109—Castro 23, Williams 19, De Ocampo 16, Reyes 12, Dillinger 11, Fonacier 10, Carey 9, Peek 8, Alapag 1, Raymundo 0, Gamalinda 0, Aban 0, Alvarez 0.
MERALCO 98—Mercado 28, Hugnatan 17, Hodge 14, Reyes 14, Salvacion 9, Borboran 6, Cardona 4, Ross 3, Buenafe 3, Nabong 0, Bulawan 0.
Quarters: 27-25, 50-46, 79-76, 109-98