MANILA, Philippines – Star point guard Jimmy Alapag notched another career milestone as he helped the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters subdue Air21, 96-89, in their PBA Philippine Cup clash Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Alapag scored 16 points built on 4-of-6 outside shooting, which allowed the Texters to remain undefeated in the conference with a 3-0 record.
His four triples in the game put his career total at 1,002, good for third in the PBA’s three-point ladder. Alapag moved past Al Solis, who made 1,000 triples in his career. Allan Caidic remains the all-time leader in three-point field goals with 1,242, followed by Ronnie Magsanoc with 1,171.
But the Texters were given a scare by the game Air21 squad, especially in the first half when they committed 21 turnovers and allowed the Express to lead 50-45.
“We played much better in the second half. We committed too many turnovers in the first half,” TNT head coach Norman Black told PBA.ph.
“We switched bigger post defenders and we really played much better in the second half,” he added.
The Texters went back to their free-flowing style of offense in the second half to seize control of the contest.
Ranidel De Ocampo led the Texters in scoring with 19 points, while Jayson Castro and Kelly Williams each fired 14 points.
Meanwhile, KG Canaleta led all scorers with 21 markers, while John Wilson added 18.
The Texters are now on top of the PBA leaderboard, relegating San Mig Coffee (2-0) to second place. But Black said the team still needs more time to adjust to the system that he is putting in place.
“It will take time, it won’t happen overnight,” he said. “The important thing is to get wins while working on the new system.”
Black officially took over the headcoaching duties for Talk 'N Text from Nash Racela after steering the Ateneo Blue Eagles to their fifth straight UAAP championship last weekend.
TALK N' TEXT 96 - De Ocmapo 19, Alapag 16, Castro 14, Williams 14, Reyes 9, Fonacier 8, Dillinger 6, Ferriols 4, Carey 3, Peek 3, Gamalinda 0.
AIR21 89 - Canaleta 21, Wilson 18, Arboleda 14, Omolon 10, Isip 8, Baclao 7, Ritualo 5, Atkins 2, Sena 2, Escobal 2, Taha 0.
Quarters: 20-28, 45-50, 76-67, 96-89