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PBA: TnT averts San Mig sweep

Ranidel against James Yap.   Photo by Tony Pionilla

Game Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
8 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs Alaska

Manila, Philippines – Talk ’N Text caught Grand Slam-seeking San Mig Super Coffee Mixers napping in the second quarter and romped to a 112-86 win in Game 3 of their semifinal showdown in the PLDT Home Telpad Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Faced with a do-or-die situation, TNT quickly turned a close fight to a blowout following a big second quarter run as it outscored San Mig Super Coffee, 32-16.

That gave them a 52-37 advantage at halftime break – thanks to their impressive outside shooting.

In that decisive period, import Paul Harris, Ranidel de Ocampo and Jimmy Alapag combined for 18 points as Talk ’N Text converted 55 percent of its shots (11-of-20), while its defense held San Mig Super Coffee to just 31.3 percent shooting (5-of-16) from the field.

TNT’s rampage continued in the second half where it established its biggest lead at 28 points, 92-64, following a three-pointer from KG Canaleta with 10:15 left in the game.

TNT’s win denied San Mig Super Coffee from sweeping their best-of-five semis series.

The Mixers, however, still lead the series, 2-1.

The Texters converted 14 of their 32 tries from the 3-point area to finish with a 42-of-83 shooting from the field. The Mixers settled for 30-of-77 after making only seven triples on 24 attempts.

De Ocampo led the Texters with 24 points highlighted by 4-of-5 shooting from the field, while Harris contributed 12 points and 12 rebounds. Castro added 14 points, Alapag, Danny Seigle and Elmer Espiritu came off the bench with 13, 11 and 10 points, respectively.

It was the first win of Talk ’N Text in the best-of-five series as it kept its campaign for a return trip to the Finals alive, and avenge its championship setback to the same team in the previous Commissioner’s Cup.

PJ Simon led San Mig Super Coffee with 18 points, while Joe Devance had 11 markers. Import Marqus Blakely was held to eight points as, Mark Barroca and James Yap only had six and four markers, respectively.

Meantime, Rain or Shine Coach Yeng Guiao expects another tough game – make it a rougher one − when they play the Alaska Aces in Game 3 of their own series also at the Big Dome.

“Dikdikan ‘yan,” said Guiao, who will lean again on import AZ Reid, Paul Lee and Jeff Chan – the same players who keyed their 99-87 win over the Aces in Game 2 last Sunday that tied their series at 1-1.l

The game got into boiling condition in the third quarter when Alaska import Henry Walker gave ROS center Beau Belga a hard push after the two jostled for position. (Waylon Galvez)