Talk 'N Text nips NLEX, sets quarterfinals date with Rain or Shine
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The twice-to-beat Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters did not need another game to overcome dangerous sister team NLEX Road Warriors as they came away with a 90-88 win in phase 1 of the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals on Saturday, December 26 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Talk 'N Text moved on to the knockout phase of the quarterfinals and will clash with Rain or Shine on Monday, December 28 at 7 pm. (READ: Guiao worried over Rain or Shine's inconsistency in PBA quarterfinals)
"NLEX is really tough, they beat us the first round, we barely squeaked past this game," said head coach Jong Uichico. "We have to play better in that knockout game on the 28th. We have to defend a lot better and we really got to play better as a team."
This year's second overall draft pick Troy Rosario led Talk 'N Text with 20 points and 6 rebounds in almost 35 minutes. Rosario's rookie partner, top overall pick Moala Tautuaa, played just under 9 minutes and finished with 3 points and 3 rebounds.
"There's no concern (with Tautuaa) just that he wasn't playing too well in the first place so I decided to stick it out with Troy, Danny Seigle and Harvey (Carey)," said Uichico, noting that Tautuaa's back spasms are still bothering him but gave assurance the big man will play in the next game.
Uichico's decision to go with his veteran paid off as Seigle scored 17 points and pulled down 7 boards on top of an assist, a steal and two blocks off the bench.
Ryan Reyes 12 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and two steals while Jayson Castro and Larry Fonacier had 10 points apiece. Fonacier also had 8 boards.
The Texters trailed by 67-61 after 3 quarters but rallied to eventually tie the count at 80-all midway in the final frame.
Talk 'N Text then went on a 8-1 run capped by a Rosario triple to take an 88-81 advantage 2:26 remaining. But NLEX inched to within 90-88 on a split from the line by Sean Anthony inside the final minute.
The Road Warriors had a chance to win the game after the Texters came up empty in their possession with 27.8 seconds left.
Though NLEX used up much of the clock getting the ball across to their court and in final their possession with 2.3 ticks to go, Anthony's one-hander simply bounced off the ring.
The final play as NLEX is eliminated by Talk 'N Text pic.twitter.com/9J53xtOC3E— Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) December 26, 2015
Asi Taulava registered 22 points and grabbed 8 rebounds as he had support from Anthony's double-double of 17 markers and 13 boards.
Jonas Villanueva had 13 for the Road Warriors, who were severely out-rebunded 53-38.
Talk 'N Text (90): Rosario 20, Seigle 17, Reyes R. 12, Castro 10, Fonacier 10, Williams 9, Miranda 3, Tautuaa 3, Aban 2, Carey 2, Rosser 0, Reyes J. 0.
NLEX (88): Taulava 22, Anthony 17, Villanueva J. 13, Lanete 9, Alas 7, Borboran 7, Khobuntin 7, Cardona 5, Enciso 1, Camson 0, Reyes 0, Villanueva E. 0.
Quarter scores: 11-21, 36-36, 61-67, 90-88.