Keith Benson topped off a 30-point night with a three-point play in the final 38 seconds, helping Talk ‘N Text seal an 86-83 decision over a hard-finishing Air21 side last night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Benson scored on a putback and drew a foul to boot from KG Canaleta as the Tropang Texters, who tied their victims at 1-1, took an 85-81 lead after blowing an 18-point fourth-quarter lead.
“It got a little scary in the end; we had the game under control,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black. “At this point, that’s all we really want, to pile up as many wins as we can.”
Globalport pinned a second straight loss on Barangay Ginebra later in the night, leading all the way in an 89-80 victory that gave the Batang Pier a 2-1 card.
Justin Williams had 23 points, 23 rebounds and eight shot blocks for the Batang Pier, who rebounded from a sorry 81-83 loss to Barako Bull last Sunday.
The Kings will fly in a new import in Vernon Macklin Sunday night, but would clash with Petron earlier that day still with Herbert Hill, who had 22 points and 19 rebounds.
Meanwhile, defending champion San Mig Coffee, reeling from two losses, gave Matt Rogers the pink slip yesterday and will clash with Rain or Shine on Friday with Denzel Bowles as import.
Meanwhile, the Elasto Painters seek their first win today in an out-of-town game presented by Phoenix Fuels at Puerto Princesa Coliseum in Palawan.
TALK ‘N TEXT 86—Benson 30, De Ocampo 19, Dillinger 14, Reyes 8, Al-Hussaini 5, Castro 5, Fonacier 5, Wiliams 0, Carey 0, Alapag 0.
AIR21 83—Canaleta 23, Dunigan 19, Cortez 11, Custodio 8, Baclao 5, Ritualo 5, Wilson 4, Menor 2, Reyes 2, Isip 2, Arboleda 2, Omolon 0.
Quarters: 23-18, 52-33, 72-51, 86-83
GLOBALPORT 89—Williams 23, David 22, Mercado 12, Aguilar 8, Salvador 8, Mandani 6, Miller 5, Deutchman 3, Yee 2, Crisano 0.
BRGY. GINEBRA 80—Hill 22, Caguioa 20, Baracael 8, Tenorio 8, Hatfield 6, Helterbrand 5, Raymundo 5, Ellis 4, Mamaril 2, Jensen 0, Espiritu 0.
Quarters: 29-15, 46-38, 67-56, 89-80