PETRON Blaze showed no mercy against a struggling Talk ‘N Text side, scoring an emphatic 122-88 win and assured itself of a twice-to-beat incentive into the playoffs of the PBA Governors Cup Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Boosters put the clamps on the Tropang Texters in the critical second period, limiting their bitter rivals to just seven points while pouring in 28 to turn what was a tight contest into a huge 63-37 lead at the half.
Petron kept the heat in the second half just as Talk ‘N Text couldn’t get anything going offensively on the way to absorbing its worst defeat this season since being clobbered by Rain or Shine, 85-116, in the Commissioner’s Cup last March 24.
“It was a big game for us because I think we formally clinched a twice to beat advantage, and giving us the additional chance of going to the semis,” said Petron rookie coach Gee Abanilla.
“I think we played good defense tonight and in one quarter, we held them to just seven points so that paved the way for the victory.”
The Boosters have won their last six outings to improve their tournament-best record at 6-1.
Talk ‘N Text lost for the second straight game and sank to a tie with Barangay Ginebra for eighth to ninth spot with identical 2-4 (win-loss) cards.
Making matter worse for the Tropang Texters was the inability of high-scoring import Tony Mitchell to get his offense going.
Mitchell, the league’s leading scorer with a 37.3-point average entering the match, finished with a league career-low of seven points on 3-of-14 field goal shooting.
Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black pulled out the high-flying Mitchell with about two minutes into the third period and did not field him back.
The Boosters had five players in double figures led by import Elijah Millsap with 25 points, while playmaker Alex Cabagnot added 20.
Marcio Lassiter poured in 18, Arwind Santos and Chico Lanete chipped in 14 and 13, respectively, for Petron.
Rabeh Al-Hussaini paced the Tropang Texters with 18 points.
Petron (122) -- Millsap 25, Cabagnot 20, Lassiter 18, Santos 14, Lanete 13, Fajardo 7, Kramer 6, Hubalde 6, Miranda 4, Ildefonso 4, Tubid 3, Lutz 2, Deutchman 0, Sison 0.
Talk N' Text (88) -- Al-Hussaini 18, Anthony 11, Peek 10, Castro 8, Mitchell 7, Aban 6, De Ocampo 6, Carey 6, Alapag 6, Fonacier 5, Ferriols 4, Aquino 1, Gamalinda 0, Alvarez 0.
Quarterscores: 35-30; 63-37; 94-63; 122-88.