Texters book semifinal slot
Richard Howell of Talk ‘N Text took Barangay Ginebra’s big men to school and helped the Tropang Texters book a Final Four slot of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Howell scored 41 points, had 22 rebounds and two steals and led the Texters to a lopsided 97-84 victory at Smart Araneta Coliseum last night that also ousted the Gin Kings from contention.
“It’s difficult for Ginebra because they are asking a local to stop him,” Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black said of his import’s dominating performance. “Richard Howell is a pretty good player. He is pretty good in the [United] States and he’s pretty good here.”
The Texters led by as many as 28 points and trailed only in the first minute. They await the winner of the Meralco-Rain or Shine series, with the Bolts seeking the clincher in their best-of-three series today at 8 p.m.
Starting out hot and finishing strong for a change, Air21 posted a wire-to-wire 92-79 triumph over San Miguel Beer in the first game to drag their quarterfinal match-up into a do-or-die match.
Sean Anthony and Wesley Witherspoon combined for all but six of the Express’ 29 fourth quarter points, making sure that Air21 wouldn’t have a repeat of that meltdown last Saturday when it blew a 17-point lead in the playoff frame to lose to the Beermen.
AIR21 92—Anthony 25, Witherspoon 18, Taulava 17, Poligrates 11, Yeo 10, Ramos 5, Borboran 2, Villanueva 2, Cardona 2, Burtscher 0, Camson 0.
SAN MIGUEL BEER 79—Jones 34, Lutz 11, Santos 10, Ross 9, Fajardo 5, Mercado 5, Maierhofer 2, Lassiter 2, Hubalde 1, Duncil 0, Tubid 0, Kramer 0.
Quarters: 29-20, 45-34, 63-54, 92-79
TALK ‘N TEXT 97—Howell 41, De Ocampo 15, Castro 13, Fonacier 12, Alapag 5, Williams 4, Carey 4, Canaleta 3, Salamat 0, Seigle 0, Aban 0, Reyes Jai 0, Reyes Ryan 0, Baclao 0.
BRGY. GINEBRA 84—Caguioa 19, Freeman 15, Tenorio 12, Urbiztondo 9, Ababou 7, Aguilar 7, Slaughter 6, Baracael 4, Helterbrand 2, Mamaril 2, Reyes 1, Ellis 0.
Quarters: 27-21, 42-34, 79-53, 97-84
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