MANILA, Philippines – The Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters remain the top team in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup after wearing down the injury-hit Petron Blaze Boosters, 92-82, Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Texters notched their seventh win against only one loss in the conference, while sending the Boosters to their fifth loss.
"It was a better second half than first half," TNT head coach Norman Black said in PBA.ph. "In the first half, we gave away a lot of fastbreak and turnover points. We were not coming down on defense."
"I just told the guys, we'll not beat Petron if we continue to play that way," he added.
The teams were tied at 42-all at halftime before Talk ‘N Text seized control in the third quarter, with Larry Fonacier leading the way.
Fonacier fired 21 points built on 3-of-6 three-point shooting, while three other players finished in double figures for the Texters.
It was another blow to the Boosters, who entered the conference as one of the title contenders but have seen numerous players go down due to various injuries.
Petron's frontline has been decimated, with prized rookie Junmar Fajardo, and veterans Danny Ildefonso and Dorian Pena all injured.
Swingman Marcio Lassiter was also out of the game due to a viral infection.
Petron coach Olsen Racela played only eight men, giving Chris Lutz and Arwind Santos major minutes.
But Black pointed out that the Texters had injury issues of their own.
"We have injured players... teams are also being bothered by injuries, so let’s not make that an excuse," he said.
TALK N' TEXT 92 - Fonacier 21, Williams 16, De Ocampo 14, Alapag 13, Aban 9, Carey 6, Castro 5, Ferriols 4, Alvarez 2, Peek 2, Raymundo 0, Gamalinda 0.
PETRON 82 - Lutz 18, Santos 17, Washington 16, Yeo 10, Duncil 7, Miranda 6, Faundo 4, Cabagnot 4.
Quarters: 17-23, 42-42, 69-60, 92-82