MANILA, Philippines – Talk ‘N Text relied on a huge second quarter rally before fending off San Mig Coffee late for an 81-75 win in the PLDT Home TVolution PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Monday, March 31 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Tropang Texters scored a blistering 19-0 run in the second period that led to several 20-point spreads for coach Norman Black’s crew; the Texters then weathered a huge comeback attempt by San Mig late in the match to record their 7th straight win, the best start in franchise history.
San Mig meanwhile, the same squad that eliminated TNT in the Philippine Cup quarterfinals, dropped their second straight assignment and fell to 3-2.
Import Richard Howell chalked up another huge double-double with 25 points and 21 rebounds to lead the Tropang Texters while Ranidel De Ocampo and Jayson Castro each tallied 13 points.
After Justin Melton trimmed the Talk ‘N Text margin to just 23-21, the Tropang Texters fired a crippling 19-0 assault punctuated by triples from KG Canaleta, Jayson Castro and Ranidel De Ocampo for a 42-21 bubble with just under 3 minites in the first half.
The Texters stymied the Mixers’ offense, who went without a field goal conversion for over 6 minutes before entering the halftime break.
Although TNT has kept San Mig at bay in the third quarter, the Mixers continued jabbing their way to trim the huge gap bit by bit.
Alex Mallari rattled 5 straight markers while Ian Sangalang and James Yap each scored a basket that brought the Talk ‘N Text lead down to 6 at 63-57, 8:57 left in the match.
The Texters however, made sure revenge would be served.
Larry Fonacier sank two back-breaking triples as the league-leading squad zoomed to a 16-7 run over the next 5 minutes to make it a 79-64 ball game.
From that point it was a nip-and-tuck exchange, with the Texters emerging on top.
Talk ‘N Text – Howell 25, Castro 13, De Ocampo 13, Fonacier 8, Canaleta 6, Alapag 5, Reyes 5, Williams 4, Carey 2, Baclao 0.
San Mig Coffee – Mays 27, Sangalang 15, Mallari 9, Simon 9, Yap 5, Barroca 4, Pingris 3, Melton 3, De Ocampo 0, Devance 0.
Quarter scores: 19-15, 44-26, 59-46, 81-75.
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