In a battle featuring colliding losing streaks, the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters prevailed and halted their four-game skid and defeat the Blackwater Elites, 98-91 held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The Elites started the game out on a good note by drilling in three of their first four shots including five quick points by Robby Celiz to pull their team up by 7-0. The good start propelled the Elites to play well on ball defense that forced the Texters to tough shots in the opening quarter. Despite Steffphon Pettigrew scoring the initial basket for his squad after three minutes, Blackwater cruised to an early double-digit separation thanks to their good ball movement and constant defense.
The Texters broke into double-digit scoring in nearly nine minutes of action with Larry Fonacier’s free throws. By that point, Blackwater was still in control, up by 12 with their defensive scheme still in tact. TNT managed to cut the lead down to eight with a 7-2 mini-rally during the last two minutes of the quarter but majority of the pace was dictated by Blackwater in the opening frame.
Carrying on the good start to the match, the Elites were still sizzling from the field to start the second quarter of action. An 8-0 start including two triples from Val Acuña and Bryan Heruela doubled the scoring of the match at 32-16. For the next three minutes, Talk ‘N Text rallied anew and slice the lead down to single digits with Sam Daghles and Danny Siegle combining for the run.
The rally was intensified with the Texters’ defensive zone coming into work as jumpers started to cool down for the Elites. By the three-minute mark of the first half, Blackwater’s lead was evaporated down to a single point at 41-40. Fortunately for the Elites, they closed out the second quarter strong and erected a 9-1 close by limiting the Texters to only score a free throw during the stretch while Reil Cervantes caught fire at the tail-end of the half.
In the first six minutes of the third quarter, the Blackwater Elites managed to hold to their 10-point cushion with Gilbert Bulawan and Bryan Heruela still knocking down their jumpers. With locals finally getting the stops, they started to take over for the Texters. After a slow start to the game, TNT’s defense was finally felt as they limited the Elites to 10 points in the last five minutes of the third quarter. In addition, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser played huge during the stretch as he piled on the points including a jumper to tie the game at 66. Despite the Elites still clinging to a one-point lead after the end of the third, the tables have turned as TNT was in clear grip of the momentum at that point.
Armed with momentum, Fonacier inked in a triple to give his squad the lead at the start of the fourth at 75-73. On the other hand, Marcus Cousin struggled for Blackwater as he committed turnovers and missed his attempts in the threshold of the fourth period. This enabled the non-import crew of the Texters to bolster their lead and grip to the game. They also grabbed the lion’s share of the rebounds during the period to keep Blackwater at bay. A triple by Ranidel De Ocampo gave TNT a 90-83 lead and the next minutes until the final buzzer featured an offensive exchange which favored the Texters. Comeback hopes for Blackwater were thwarted as the Texters also made the necessary baskets and free throws down the stretch.
TNT shot 13-of-26 from downtown for a good 50% clip compared to Blackwater’s 6-of-14 shooting. Ganuelas-Rosser led the Texters with 21 points, and nine rebounds in an efficient 7/9 shooting from the field. Fonacier chipped in 20 including four triples.
The Tropang Texters improve to a 4-5 standing while the cellar-dealing Elites have now seven defeats in their eight games so far.
Blackwater will next face the San Miguel Beermen on June 16, 4:15 while Talk ‘N Text’s next assignment will be up against the Star Hotshots on 7pm, same day at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Talk ‘N Text(98) – Ganuelas-Rosser 21, Fonacier 20, Daghles 15, De Ocampo 14, Seigle 10, Pettigrew 7, Castro 7, Williams 4, Carey 0, Miller 0, Aban 0
Blackwater(91) – Heruela 21, Cousin 16, Faundo 14, Gamalinda 10, Cervantes 9, Celiz 7, Bulawan 5, Ballesteros 5, Acuña 3, Erram 1, Reyes 0, Laure 0
Quarters: 16-24, 41-50, 70-71, 98-91
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