Texters claim share of lead

By Nelson Beltran, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 03 2014 08:15 AM | Updated as of Jun 03 2014 08:11 PM

Air21 center Asi Taulava (88) goes for a lay-up while being defended by Talk N Text's Ranidel de Ocampo (L) and Nonoy Baclao (7). Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com.

MANILA, Philippines - Talk n Text, behind a balanced offensive sock, slowly pulled away en route to a 102-91 win over Air21 and a share of the lead with Commissioner’s Cup finals conqueror San Mig Coffee halfway through the elimination phase of the PBA PLDT Home Telpad Governors Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena last night.

Ranidel de Ocampo, Jayson Castro, Jimmy Alapag, Rodney Carney, Kelly Williams and Harvey Carey fired away at least 10 points each, negating Dominique Sutton’s 31-point performance as the Tropang Texters scored a third straight win and caught up with the Mixers atop the heap at 4-1.

Carney sat out long stretches of the game due to early fouls but the Talk n Text locals ably held the fort in the match marred by a number of clashes between De Ocampo and Sutton.

De Ocampo stood out in the end with 24 points, seven rebounds and physical plays that somehow slowed down Sutton in the final half.

The strong, aggressive Air21 import came through with 23 points in the first half.

Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer try to bounce back from a loss and stay among the tournament leaders as they take on Barako Bull and Globalport, respectively, at resumption of action at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City tonight.

From 16-19 down, the Texters seized control on a 10-0 run from the closing minutes of the first quarter and into the early going of the second period.

The Texters never ran out of ammunitions to counter Sutton’s attack, leading by as many as 20, 95-75, in the fourth quarter before eventually handing the Express their second loss against three wins.

The Texters enjoyed their first double-digit spread at 41-31 on a trey by Carney and stretched the gap to 12 before settling for a 52-44 lead at the turn.

Alapag and Castro came out firing in the third and Talk n Text reestablished a big lead, 83-67, going into the final quarter.

Alapag scored on a drive against Asi Taulava and knocked in the accompanying charity then De Ocampo made two charities off Sutton as TnT led by 20 at 95-75 with 6:57 left to play.

Behind a small, quick lineup, the Express rallied to within 10 at 87-97.

They had a chance to further chop down their deficit but fumbled on a fastbreak play. The Texters settled the outcome of the game as De Ocampo set up Williams for a two-handed jam that made it 99-87 with a little over a minute left to play.