MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) — The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters brushed off the Mahindra Enforcers late in the fourth to claim its first victory, 101-97, in the 2016 Philippine Cup on Saturday, October 31 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jayson Castro led 6 Texters in double figures with 28 points as he went 10-for-14 from the free throw line. He made up for the absence of critical offensive weapon Ranidel De Ocampo, who is sidelined for 6 to 8 weeks due to a herniated disc.
Rookies Troy Rosario and Moala Tautuaa also stepped up and atoned for a lackluster opening game performance with 12 markers each.
Larry Fonacier wound up with a double double of 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Ryan Reyes also added 10 markers as Talk ‘N Text improved to 1-1.
“We’re still not where we should be,” head coach Jong Uichico admitted as his team – which did not have a full offseason together as key players were lent to Gilas Pilipinas – struggled to shake off the pesky Mahindra all game long.
“We want to be somewhere at this point and we’re still groping for rotation, how we’re going to defend. We’re really still a long ways.”
The Enforcers kept itself in the game up until the final 30 seconds thanks to guard LA Revilla and his beautiful stepback jumper after shaking off Rosario, 99-97.
But the Texters managed to hold out as Niño Canaleta, who finished 1-of-8 from the field, airballed a 3-pointer with 14.7 seconds remaining.
Talk ‘N Text, which was down by as much as 9 points in the second quarter, permanently re-captured the lead on a Castro and-one play, 90-88, midway in the payoff period.
The Texters led by as much as 97-90 with 2:34 left to play before the Enforcers made their last-ditch rally.
Revilla topscored for Mahindra with 21 points, 9 rebounds and two assists, while Bradwyn Guinto had 17 markers, 13 boards, 3 blocks and a steal.
Aldrech Ramos and Chito Jaime added 13 and 12 points, respectively, as the second year team remained winless at 0-2. — Rappler.com
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