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Johnson’s 35 propels Texters against Globalport to gain top spot in standings

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The Talk ‘n Text Tropang Texters notched their sixth win in eight games, also grabbing the first spot in the ongoing PBA commissioner’s cup with a 96-88 win over Globalport, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Off the tip, Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle converted on transition lay-ins against the unsettled defense of the Texters. After two minutes of being scoreless, Ivan Johnson cleaned up the miss for a putback, and put the Texters on the scoreboard. Down early, Talk ‘n Text built the first run of the game at 12-3, wherein Ranidel de Ocampo punched in back-to-back treys. That was followed by a jumper by Larry Fonacier off a screen that forced Globalport to call the first ceasefire.

The hot shooting continued for the Texters as Fonacier knocked in a corner triple to give Texters their largest lead of the quarter at eight. Globalport’s reinforcement, Calvin Warner, struggled on his opening shots, but made his presence on the defensive end felt, blocking Matt Ganuelas’ dunk attempt. The locals of the Batang Pier did the scoring, keeping the match close during the first period. Denok Miranda found Warner wide open inside for an easy deuce to tie things up at 24. Both teams were left scoreless for the last minute as the first period ended on a tie.

The imports exchanged baskets inside to start the second period. As the subs entered the game, both teams raced to a closely-contested match that featured several ties and lead changes. Romeo, however, started to wax hot as he punched in a three pointer, plus a foul followed by a step back long two. After a quick breather, Johnson gave the Texters a five point lead with a tightly-contested jumper.

Warner and Romeo did the damage offensively for Globalport, but they were battling balanced scoring from the Texters, who held the slight advantage throughout the second quarter. The Batang Pier launched an 8-2 run in the last moments of the first half to enter the break only down by three.

The back-and-forth action resumed in the second half, as no team led by more than four in the first six minutes of the third quarter. With Johnson anchoring the defense in the paint, the Batang Pier settled for outside jumpers that had a hard time finding the bottom of the basket. Rosser drove in during the midpoint of the period, connecting on the shot, while getting fouled to give the Texters a seven-point gap at 62-55.

The basket triggered the momentum in favor of Talk ‘n Text, as the starters piled up multiple baskets and extended the lead to double-digits. After a GlobalPort timeout, Pringle and the rest of the Batang Pier rallied to trim the deficit down to six. After an exchange of baskets, Talk ‘n Text ended the third period holding a five point lead.

With Romeo cooling off in the second half, the offense became stagnant for Globalport as the Texters mounted another separation. The lead they built was sufficient against the Batang Pier, who played a subpar quarter offensively and defensively, as they had a hard time containing the Texters, who were sizzling in their shooting.

Ivan Johnson had a tremendous outing, with 35 points, 20 boards, and three steals to his name. Furthermore, Ranidel de Ocampo was the leading local for the Texters, having 25 points that included six from downtown. For the other team, Romeo and Warner had 20 and 19 markers respectively.

Talk ‘n Text will face Purefoods next on an out-of-town game on March 14 at Davao, while Globalport looks to bounce back against NLEX the following day at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The scores:

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.

Quarterscores: 24-24, 49-46, 74-69, 96-88

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