Alapag paces league-best Talk N’ Text as it nips Air 21


Jimmy Alapag vs Mark Isip and Bonbon Custodio PBA IMAGE/Nuki Sabio

MANILA, Philippines — Jimmy Alapag waxed hot from downtown to tow Talk N’ Text past Air21 100-94 Sunday in the 2012 PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Alapag nailed four treys for an 18-point performance, leading the Texters to their third straight victory and a tighter hold of the top spot with a 10-2 card.

“Jimmy came into the game with a lot of energy, he’s just being himself and he came out big for us,” said head coach Norman Black.

The Texters, though, did not get a comfortable space until the end with the Express, led by Mike Cortez, breathing down their necks.

“Pretty tough game for us actually, our defense not as good as today as the last game,” said Black, referring to the rout of second-place San Mig Coffee last week.

The Texters were just a few points away from the Express in the fourth quarter, but a triple from Alapag with 4:34 to go helped five an eight-point edge.

Attacking all the way to the hoop from the top of the key, Ranidel De Ocampo nailed the dagger of a lay-in with 30.5 seconds to go.

Jason Castro and De Ocampo both scored 16 points for Talk N’ Text.

Kelly Williams made his presence felt on both ends of the court — as he was there to swat away shots and pull down the boards. He had nine points.

Cortez, who has always been matched up with Alapag since the two guards entered the league in 2003, finished with a game-high 23 points.

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