MANILA, Philippines—For Talk ‘N Text head coach Norman Black, the only way to beat San Mig Coffee was at the defensive end.
Locked in defensively, the Tropang Texters shut down the Mixers en route to a masterful 92-63 beatdown Sunday night in the 38th PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I think … the only way we can win this game is to play good defense against the best defensive team in the league,” said Black. “We did a good job from start to finish on defense.
TNT held San Mig down to below 20 points in each of the four quarters, suffocating James Yap and PJ Simon, who combined for only 16 points.
Yap went four-of-14 from the field while Simon shot just one-of-six.
The win kept TNT in first place at 9-2, bolstering its chances for a top two finish at the end of the elimination round.
“That’s still the goal (top two) obviously beating San Mig helped us a lot. It gives us a better chance but it’s not over yet we can’t really let down our guard,” said Black.
Jimmy Alapag led the Texters with 19 points, missing just one shot in six tries, along with four rebounds and five assists in just 22 minutes.
Alapag had eight in the third quarter alone, where TNT pulled away for good, outscoring San Mig, 34-16, for a 71-45 advantage.
Not letting up, Talk ‘N Text padded on to its lead in the fourth period.
Ranidel de Ocampo made back-to-back treys after a Ryan Reyes triple, pushed the Texters lead to 35, 87-52, with 5:18 left as much of the crowd head for the exits.
De Ocampo finished with 15 points while Larry Fonacier had 11 markers.
The Mixers dropped to third place at 7-3.