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PBA: TnT lives, Boosters advance

PBA2013 Phil Cup Logoby Tito S. Talao

Game Today (Astrodome, Pasay City)
3:30 p.m. – Ginebra vs Alaska

Manila, Philippines – San Mig Super Coffee kept knocking the crown off the head of defending champion Talk ‘N Text. But Jayson Castro and Ryan Reyes kept jamming it back.

Castro and Reyes hit key 3-point shots in critical stages of the fourth quarter last night as the Tropang Texters staved off elimination by denying the Mixers a sweep of their best-of-3 quarterfinal series, 82-77, in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The deciding Game 3 is tomorrow at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Castro, who led TNT with 20 points on 8 of 11 shooting, scored on a drive and then buried a top-of-the-key triple with 5:14 remaining to give the Texters a 71-60 lead.

But the Mixers, who took the opener, 90-83, wouldn’t go away easy, rallying to within, 73-66, on a Marc Pingris basket. Reyes, 5 of 6 from the floor, drained a 3-pointer, however, and followed it up with another dagger 3 that made it a 79-70 advantage.

Mark Barroca came back with a trey of his own with 58 seconds left.

But Danny Seigle kept the crown in place by hitting two free throws following a heartbreaker by San Mig’s PJ Simon from pointblank range.

Nino Canaleta, acquired a few days ago from Air21, added 13 with three triples for TNT.

“The biggest difference today was we actually had two days of practice,” said TNT coach Norman Black. “We can play a lot better if we have enough time to jell a little bit. ”

In the other match, the Petron Blaze Boosters repeated over the Barako Bull Energy Colas, 107-100, to advance to the semifinals.

Meanwhile, No. 8 Alaska Milk hopes to exact on No. 1 Barangay Ginebra San Miguel today what the Kings had inflicted some time ago on a fellow top seed: send it off in the quarterfinal playoffs

Ginebra, then seeded eighth back in 1999 All-Filipino Conference, eliminated Asi Taulava and the Mobiline Phone Pals on a dying-basket by Bal David. Now the Aces are in a position to do the same after they shocked the Kings, 104-97, last Wednesday.

Ginebra had no answer to Alaska’s red-hot shooting and systematic plays, not to mention the aggressiveness of sophomore Calvin Abueva who had eight offensive rebounds in out-hustling the entire Kings lineup, including Twin Towers 6-foot-10 Japeth Aguilar and 6-foot-11 Greg Slaughter.

The lone knockout game at 3:30 p.m. at the Cuneta Astrodome is presented by Petron Blaze as part of its Saturday Special series.

“I don’t want to feel satisfied. It was just one game,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo.

“It’s beyond coaching at this point. Ginebra didn’t have rhythm, they have a long off… but at this point I think it’s 50-50. Ginebra will be motivated but we’ll be ready for that do-or-die game.”

Ato Agustin, the Kings coach, rued his team’s lethargic play but counseled against wallowing in despair.

“Sabi ko nga sa mga players, kalimutan na naming ‘yung nangyari sa unang game, andito na kami sa sitwasyon na ito, so dapat mas maging aggressive kami, mas may energy, and mas pagbutihan naming kasi walang ng bukas kung matatalo kami,” Agustin said.

The winner here will face in the best-of-7 semifinals the team that emerges from the quarterfinal series between defending champion Talk ‘N Text and San Mig Coffee.

The scores:
First game:
TALK N’ TEXT 82 – Castro 20, Reyes R. 13, Canaleta 13, Seigle 11, De Ocampo 9, Williams 8, Peek 4, Fonacier 2, Carey 2, Aban 0, Baclao 0, Alapag 0.

SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE 77 – Devance 13, Barroca 12, Simon 12, Reavis 12, Mallari 7, Pingris 6, Melton 6, Yap 5, Sangalang 4, De Ocampo 0.

Quarters: 19-21, 38-34, 62-52, 82-77

Second game:
PETRON 107 – Cabagnot 22, Lutz 18, Santos 17, Fajardo 14, Lassiter 11, Tubid 10, Ross 8, Kramer 7, Lanete 0.

BARAKO 100 – Maierhofer 21, Intal 20, Miranda 15, Miller 11, Pena 11, Pennisi 8, Lastimosa 6, Jensen 4, Wilson 2, Buenafe 2, Isip 0.

Quarters: 25-18, 52-52, 107-100