Talk ‘N Text clinches top spot with win over San Mig Coffee
MANILA, Philippines — Talk ‘N Text fought off a late charge by San Mig Coffee, 81-75, to clinch the top spot in the 2014 PLDT Home Tvolution PBA Commissioner’s Cup Monday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Hardworking import Richard Howell scored 25 points and grabbed 21 rebounds for the Tropang Texters, who secured a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals after fanning their unbeaten streak to seven games.
“We are where we want to be right now which is in first place. The only thing is that it’s too early, now is the hard part,” said TNT head coach Norman Black. “We have to keep playing at a high level.”
The Texters took a 21-point lead early in the third quarter but the Mixers found themselves back to within six, 57-63, early in the fourth quarter.
But that was the closest San Mig Coffee, which reeled to its second straight setback after winning its first three games, came.
Larry Fonacier hit two 3-pointers in separate stretches in the fourth quarter with his last trey giving TNT a 79-64 lead with 3:14 left that ultimately stopped San Mig Coffee’s run.
“We went into this game thinking that we’re going to beat San Mig Coffee if we play good defense,” Black said.
True enough, Talk ‘N Text set the tone with its suffocating defense – limiting San Mig Coffee to just 11 points on four-of-13 shooting in the second quarter.
The Mixers were even held scoreless in a six-minute span during that period as the Texters jumped out to a 44-26 lead at the half.
James Mays paced the Mixers with 27 points and 12 rebounds while rookie Ian Sangalang added 15. PJ Simon scored nine points, including a baseline one-hander that put his name in the league’s 5,000 points club.
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