Fajardo-less Petron repeats over Talk 'N Text
MANILA, Philippines – Petron Blaze used a 31-12 third quarter to complete a massive turnaround against Talk 'N Text, 105-91 in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday, December 28 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
The Boosters overcame a sour-shooting first half and snapped their two-game losing skid and scored a victory sans behemoth June Mar Fajardo to grab solo second in the standings with an 8-2 win-loss card.
"I think we played a better defensive job in the second half," said Petron head coach Gee Abanilla, whose wards limited TNT to just 39 points in the second half. "It was different not having June Mar (Fajardo). Defense was not focused on him anymore. We just found a way and hopefully we could build on it.
After Larry Fonacier waxed hot for 17 first half points, the Boosters slowly clawed back in the third period. Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter combined for 19 markers in the penultimate period while limiting the Tropang Texters to just 12 points.
Yousef Taha started the fourth quarter with a basket that pushed Petron's lead to 78-64, and Talk 'N Text was not able to recover after that point.
It was a total turnaround for TNT, who shot 37.5% from downtown in the first 24 minutes of action. They were limited to just two triples in the final two quarters, shooting a dismal 2-for-12 from three-point land. Fonacier was also silenced in the second half, missing all his field goal attempts.
Marcio Lassiter carried the fight for Petron, scoring 22 points to lead four players in double figures, while Alex Cabagnot added 12 points and 10 assists.
Talk 'N Text dropped to 6-3, joining Rain or Shine for joint third place in the team standings.
Petron (105) - Lassiter 22, Santos 19, Lutz 16, Cabagnot 12, Tubid 8, Kramer 8, Taha 6, Deutchman 6, Lanete 4, Duncil 2, Ross 2.
Talk 'N Text (91) - Castro 23, Fonacier 19, De Ocampo 12, Seigle 10, Reyes J. 7, Baclao 4, Poligrates 4, Carey 4, Aban 2, Williams 2, Anthony 2, Alapag 2, Celiz 0.
Quarters: 17-27, 45-52, 76-64,105-91
- with reports from Levi Verora/Rappler.com