Games Tomorrow (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:15 p.m. – Alaska vs Kia
7 p.m. – Barako Bull vs San Miguel Beer
Manila, Philippines – Talk ‘N Text avenged its shock loss to Globalport last conference by cruising to a 96-88 win yesterday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
TNT import Ivan Johnson collected 35 points and 20 rebounds to help the team avenge its 105-97 loss last Nov. 18.
“It’s a good comeback, despite losing to Kia. But it’s not necessarily of that loss,” Uichico said.
“Last conference we were well in control of the game, and then they (Globalport) shot a lot of threes against us. The motivation was last conference. We came in really focused,” added Uichico.
In that game, sophomore guard Terrence Romeo exploded for 30 points as the Batang Pier scored a 105-97 win – a first for the franchise versus TNT after it went 0-8 since joining the PBA in 2012.
TNT was coming off a 106-103 defeat to Kia last Wednesday.
Veteran forward Ranidel de Ocampo also had a solid outing for Talk ’N Text as he added 25 points on 6-of-9 shooting from three-point area, while rookie Matt Ganuelas-Rosser contributed 13 points.
TNT thus reclaimed the solo lead with a 6-2 record.
Protecting a five-point lead, 79-74, de Ocampo’s trey ignited a 17-9 run by the Tropang Texters that gave them a 96-83 advantage with 2:13 remaining in the game. Johnson had two triples and a three-point play in that blitzkrieg, while Jayson Castro nailed one three-pointer.
“It’s a good win, I think we did a pretty good job defensively. We still need to keep on winning and we have three tough games ahead. The target is always the top two (in the playoffs),” said Uichico.
Overall, TNT shot 33-of-88 (38 percent) from the field as compared to Globalport’s shooting of 33-of-78 (42 percent), but the Texters converted 12-of-30 threes (40 percent) to the Batang Pier’s 7-of-25 (28 percent). TNT also scored 22 points off Globalport’s 17 turnovers.
Globalport, which now sports a 4-4 card, got 20 points from Romeo, while import Calvin Warner had 19 points and 27 rebounds. Top rookie pick Stanley Pringle had 16 points while Keith Jensen added 10 points off the bench.
The PBA will still have two games tomorrow also at the Big Dome, before taking a break for the PBA All-Star Weekend set March 6 to 8 in Palawan.
Uichico said he set a two-day rest before returning to training session on Wednesday, although Castro, de Ocampo, Ganuelas and Kevin Alas will take part in the All-Star festivities.
Meanwhile, former two-time MVP James Yap scored eight of his 15 points in the extra period – punctuated by two booming three-pointers – as defending champion Purefoods Star snapped a three-game losing skid with a 113-105 overtime win against Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer.
TALK ’N TEXT 96 – Johnson 35, De Ocampo 25, Rosser 13, Fonacier 8, Castro 5, Washington 4, Carey 4, Alas 2, Reyes R.J. 0, Seigle 0, Aban 0.
GLOBALPORT 88 – Romeo 20, Warner 19, Pringle 16, Jensen 10, Semerad 8, Miranda 4, Buenafe 4, Isip 4, Ponferrada 3, Caperal 0, Pinto 0, Nabong 0, Taha 0.
Quarters: 24-24, 49-46, 74-69, 96-88.
PUREFOODS 113 – Bowles 35, Mallari 17, Pingris 15, Yap 15, Simon 9, Barroca 9, Devance 6, Maliksi 4, Taha 3, Melton 0, Reavis 0, Pennisi 0.
SANMIGUEL 105 – Reid 23, Lassiter 21, Ross 15, Fajardo 14, Lutz 11, Kramer 8, Cabagnot 7, Santos 3, Reyes 2, Semerad 1, Tubid 0.
Quarterscores: 15-22, 42-39, 76-66, 98-98, 113-105