Texters ‘starve’ Paul Lee, turn back Elasto Painters
MANILA, Philippines – Harvey Carey was as offensive-minded as he could get, and the Talk ‘N Text defense shut down super rookie Paul Lee in the fourth period Friday night for a 107-98 victory over Rain or Shine and a share of the PBA Philippine Cup lead.
Even without a single offensive play designed for him, the workhorse came away with 28 points and 14 rebounds as the Tropang Texters, playing minus three superstars, rose to 2-0 before a good-sized Smart Araneta Coliseum crowd.
Coach Chot Reyes threw several men on Lee, and the No. 2 pick in this season’s Draft was ‘starved’ to 17 points and to only four meaningless markers in the fourth quarter as they came when Talk ‘N Text was already in command.
The Elasto Painters saw a two-game winning streak come to a halt, but Reyes was quick to point out how special Lee really is, as he later on revealed a defensive ploy that put at least two men on Lee all the time.
“We wanted to make sure that there was an extra guy on Paul Lee,” Reyes said. “Yet, despite all that, he still scored 17 points. And for me, that’s a special player.”
Petron Blaze, the Texters’ Governors’ Cup tormentor, and Talk ‘N Text are the only undefeated teams left in the field.
Carey was on the floor for all but four minutes, and the 6-foot-4 veteran even drained a triple at the 9:20 mark of the third period for a 58-55 lead the Texters never relinquished.
It was just his second career three-pointer after sinking one on March 14, 2003. Coming into the game, Carey missed his last 29 attempts from beyond the arc and was 1-for-32 there.
“We were fortunate enough to get a great scoring game from Harvey, and I think that was the big difference in tonight’s ball game,” continued Reyes.
Talk ‘N Text was without Ranidel de Ocampo, Jimmy Alapag and Kelly Williams, who all played with the National team in Wuhan, China and are being allowed by their mother team to rest, according to Reyes.
“We’re basically limping along. If you notice we’re getting really tired and our players are gutting it out till the end,” Reyes said. “We’re 2-0 now, and I am very happy with the effort. But we need to get better when we play the stronger teams in the league.
“The fact that we pulled this out is more than anything an effort victory.”
Meanwhile, B-Meg shoots for a second straight win when the Llamados, who are slowly getting comfortable with Tim Cone’s system, battle Meralco in a road game presented by Phoenix Fuels at the San Juan Arena Saturday.
TALK ‘N TEXT 107—Carey 28, Reyes 19, Castro 18, Fonacier 13, Dillinger 11, Aguilar 7, Peek 7, Aban 4, Raymundo 0, Lao 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 98—Lee 17, Belga 16, Norwood 12, Cruz 11, Arana 11, Chan 10, Quinahan 10, Buenafe 7, Matias 4, Rodriguez 0.
Quarters: 22-21, 47-48, 74-69, 107-98
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