With a conscious effort to play defense last night, Talk ‘N Text choked Globalport to submission in the second half and exposed all the chinks in
the armor of the Batang Pier in a 99-79 PBA Commissioner’s Cup victory at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Tropang Texters, who came into the game allowing 91 points a night, held the Batang Pier to a paltry 34 in the final two quarters to break free from a 49-45 halftime count and win a second straight outing for a 2-1 slate.
“We were able to accomplish some of the things we wanted to do in this game,” coach Norman Black said. “After our last game, we were dead-last in defense in the league and I reminded the team of that.”
Talk ‘N Text also showed everyone why they dealt away Japeth Aguilar before the start of the tournament, holding the 6-foot-9 beanpole to a measly four points, his lowest output of the tournament.
“They were making a big deal in this game against Japeth,” Black said after holding Aguilar to 1-of-8 shooting from the field and 2-of-4 free throws in 28 minutes.
The loss was the second in four games for the Batang Pier, whose cause wasn’t helped a bit by their atrocious free throw shooting.
Justin Williams, who has probably the best work ethic among imports in the lot, missed eight out of 17 attempts and the team as a whole shot just 27-of-42 from the stripe.
Talk ‘N Text answered the second half horn with all guns firing, as Jimmy Alapag finished a 1-on-3 break with a triple from left quarter court that made it 66-53.
It was all Talk ‘N Text from there as a lot got into the offensive flow and Black was actually able to clear his bench with still under four minutes to go to allow his reserves to complete the mop-up job.
“They played us pretty tough in the first half,” Black said when asked of the reasons of the game being close in the first two periods. “But we made adjustments by making our import (Keith Benson) as our last line of defense.”
Benson went on to pace the Texters with 20 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks and four locals scored at least 13.
Another man who was shut down by the Talk ‘N Text defense was Sol Mercado, who scored just four points in the second half after shooting 10 in the first two periods.
Mercado, who had double figures in points and assists in the Batang Pier’s first three games, was held down to just four feeds last night. The 6-foot point guard came into the match averaging a league-best 13.3 assists.
TALK ‘N TEXT 99—Benson 20, Castro 19, Alapag 15, Dillinger 14, Fonacier 13, Al-Hussaini 6, De Ocampo 4, Carey 4, Gamalinda 2, Williams 2, Raymundo 0, Reyes 0, Alvarez 0.
GLOBALPORT 79—Williams 19, David 19, Mercado 14, Yee 7, Mandani 4, Aguilar 4, Salvador 4, Adducul 4, Deutchman 2, Miller 2, Aljamal 0.
Quarters: 22-27, 49-45, 71-61, 99-79