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08:02 PM February 20, 2013

Talk ‘N Text stepped up its defense especially on a former player and the result was a ghastly 99-79 rout of Globalport Wednesday for its second straight win in the PBA COmmissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.


In a much-anticipated first game against former player Japeth Aguilar who had requested for a trade prior to the conference and was sent pronto to the Batang Pier in the exchange for Rabeh Al-Hussaini, the Tropang Texters held Aguilar to just four points on a 1-for-8 shooting from the floor and seven rebounds in 28 minutes, a far cry from his 15.7 ppg and 9.3 rpg averages in Globalport’s first three games, two of which they won.

Talk ‘N Text, the reigning Philippine Cup champion of the last three seasons, actually shut down Batang Pier, the conference’s third-best scoring team with its 90.3 scoring average prior to the game, en route to improving to a 2-1 win-loss record and share of second place in the team standings with Petron Blaze and Barako Bull, behind the pace-setting 3-0 slate of Alaska.


Keith Benson showed the way for the Tropang Texters with his 20 points, 19 rebounds and five shotblocks and got support from four local players who also scored in double figures led by the 19 of Jayson Castro and the 15 of Jimmy Alapag who added seven assists.

“It was a big test for us especially since a lot of people were making a big deal about the game against Japeth. We just wanted to come and play well today… It was also a chance for us to stay with the leaders ‘cause Alaska seems pulling away already,” said Talk ‘N Text head coach Norman Black in the postgame interview, adding they really out premium on their defense for this game.

“We were able to accomplish some of the things we wanted to do in this game. I noticed after our last game we were last in defense in the league. I reminded the players of that and we just wanted to come out with a good defensive effort today for us to have a chance at winning,” also said Black, referring to their conference-worst 91.0 ppg allowed before the game.

The Batang Pier, who dropped to an even 2-2 record, was led by the 19 points apiece of Justin Williams and Gary David.

After a slow start in the first four and a half minutes of the game where they trailed by as much eight points, the Tropang Texters got back in the game with a Larry Fonacier and Alapag-led second period en route to a 49-45 halftime lead. They then poured it on in the second half, outscoring Globalport 50-34 while holding down the Batang Pier to just a 21% shooting from the floor.

The final score turned out to be the biggest lead of the game for TNT, underscoring its relentless desire to give it all it could until the very end.

Al-Hussaini even had more decent numbers than Aguilar with his six points and seven rebounds in just 17 minutes of action off the bench. (FM)


The scores:

TALK ‘N TEXT 99 – Benson 20, Castro 19, Alapag 15, Dillinger 14, Fonacier 13, Al-Hussaini 6, De Ocampo 4, Carey 4, Gamalinda 2, Williams 2, Raymundo 0, Reyes 0, Alvarez 0.

GLOBALPORT 79 – Williams 19, David 19, Mercado 14, Yee 7, Mandani 4, Aguilar 4, Salvador 4, Adducul 4, Deutchman 2, Miller 2, Aljamal 0.

Quarterscores: 22-27, 49-45, 71-61, 99-79

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