Texters disconnect Batang Pier, level record
MANILA, Philippines -- Larry Fonacier, Jayson Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo, though still in the process of finding old rhythm with their mother team, helped a big deal as Talk 'N Text turned back the fighting Globalport team, 102-95, in the PBA Governors Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City Sunday night.
Fonacier went 3-of-6 from the three-point area and finished with 19 points, while Castro and De Ocampo contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively, as the Tropang Texters snapped a two-game losing skid and hit the .500 mark with a 2-2 win-loss slate.
Tony Mitchell defied the rugged defense of Chad Alonzo and Marvin Hayes, pouring in a game-high 35 points as Talk 'N Text caught up with Globalport and Meralco at fourth place behind Petron Blaze (4-1), Barako Bull (3-1) and Rain or Shine (3-2).
“We’re long way to go. We haven’t got into the groove. We still need a lot more practice,” said Fonacier, among Talk 'N Text’s returning stars from the national team.
“It’s still an adjustment period for the three. And we’re not a good team right now. Every game’s going to be tough,” said Talk 'N Text coach Norman Black.
“Everything’s a bit of a struggle. We’re trying to hang in there to qualify to the next round. It’ll be a big lift for us when Jimmy (Alapag) comes back. It’s nice to hear his voice as the team’s leader,” Black also said.
The Texters relied on the key spurt of Mitchell, Fonacier, Ryan Reyes and De Ocampo to open a 14-point lead, 99-85, with four minutes left to play.
And as the Batang Pier waged a final fightback to close in at 95-100, Castro took charge to clinch the Texters’ second victory following a 118-113 overtime decision over the Energy Cola on Aug. 16.
Castro, named to the Mythical Selection in the 27th FIBA Asia Championship, grabbed a crucial offensive rebound and knocked in two charities to settle the outcome of the contest.
The 5-foot-11 guard made a total of eight freebies and also got three assists and two rebounds in 27 minutes of action.
Fonacier and De Ocampo also had solid all-around game with the former also logging four assists and three rebounds and the latter getting 11 caroms to complete a double-double game.
Still, the Texters found it hard to shake off the Batang Pier.
Markeith Cummings put in 33 points to pace the Batang Pier who also drew double-digit outputs from Gary David (15), Jay Washington (14) and Sol Mercado (10).
The Texters pulled through on a good run at the finish highlighted by back-to-back treys from Fonacier.
“It’s a short tourney as everybody’s saying. We’ve got to have a sense of urgency in each game,” said Fonacier.
NOTES: Starting Tuesday, the PBA plays five days in a week as part of the calendar revision the pro league made to accommodate the participation of the PBA stars in the recent FIBA Asia Championship. The initial PBA Tuesday double-header pits Petron Blaze versus Barako Bull at 5:15 p.m. then Meralco against Alaska Milk at 7:30 p.m.
Talk N' Text 102 - Mitchell 35, Fonacier 19, Castro 12, De Ocampo 11, Reyes 8, Al-Hussaini 6, Anthony 5, Aban 5, Peek 1, Carey 0.
GlobalPort 95 - Cummings 33, David 15, Washington 14, Mercado 10, Hayes 8, Alonzo 5, Nabong 4, Lingganay 4, Salvador 2, Buensuceso 0, Miller 0.
Quarterscores: 26-19, 49-44, 77-75, 102-95