MANILA, Philippines – Kelly Williams and Larry Fonacier provided the firepower as Talk ‘N Text prevailed over Alaska 93-79 in a heated Game 3 Wednesday of their best-of-seven semifinals series in the 38th PBA Philippine Cup at the SM MOA Arena.
Williams topscored with 23 points on an efficient 10-of-14 shooting from the field to lead the Tropang Texters to a 2-1 lead.
“We’re here together. It’s all about team effort,” said Williams, who also had nine rebounds.
Fonacier finally found his shooting touch for 21 points on four-of-six shooting from long range.
“I thought my guys came out and executed well defensively and offensively. It looks like it’s going to be a long series,” said TNT head coach Norman Black.
The Aces, who won Game 2, 100-88, last Friday, lost two of their start to ejection with the game far from over.
Prized rookie Calvin Abueva got called for a flagrant foul penalty 1 for tripping Harvey Carey late in the third quarter before getting ejection after picking up a technical foul for second motion with still 6:45 left.
Cyrus Baguio got sent off after a flagrant foul penalty 2 for a hard hit on Jayson Castro just 45 seconds after Abueva’s ejection.
TNT led by as much as 16, 80-64, on a three-pointer by Ranidel de Ocampo but not after Alaska threatened to take the lead at one point in the third period.
The Aces went on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to two 50-52 after a scuffle nearly broke out between Sonny Thoss and Jared Dillinger.
The Texters though, put up a run of their own, 17-3, as their lead stretches back to double-digits 69-53 on two free throws from Harvet Carey.
Thoss had 17 points but it wasn’t enough to fill the void left by JVee Casio and Abueva, who both mightily struggled.
Casio was limited to just seven points after scoring 22 in Game 2 while Abueva only had four points, a far cry from his 20-point, 14-rebound effort in their previous meeting.
Jimmy Alapag added four points and 11 assists for TNT, which looks to go up 3-1 on Friday.
TALK N’ TEXT 93 – Williams 23, Fonacier 21, De Ocampo 12, Carey 7, Dillinger 6, Castro 6, Reyes 5, Alapag 4, Peek 4, Raymundo 3, Aban 2, Gamalinda 0, Alvarez 0.
ALASKA 79 – Thoss 17, Baguio 13, Jazul 11, Baracael 11, Casio 7, Espinas 6, Abueva 4, Reyes 4, Dela Cruz 2, Hontiveros 2, Belasco 2, Eman 0.
Quarters: 14-19, 39-34, 69-57, 93-79