TALK ‘N Text bounced back from an embarrassing season-opening loss by dealing newcomer NLEX a 103-81 beating on Friday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Blown out of the court by Ginebra before more than 52,000 fans at the Philippine Arena on opening day, the Tropang Texters bounced back five days later by basically showing more poise and chemistry than their sister team.
The Tropang Texters also put up an airtight defense that kept man-mountain slotman Asi Taulava from doing the damage inside the paint or any other Road Warrior from getting into a hot streak.
Fil-Am forwards Jay Washington and Kelly Williams, along with Jayson Castro stood at the forefront of Talk ‘N Text’s blazing offensive, firing 19, 18 and 15 points, respectively to give new coach Jong Uichico his first victory this season.
The Texters’ win also spoiled NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez’s return to the PBA, just two days after steering the San Beda Red Lions to their fifth straight NCAA men’s basketball championship.
“We’re trying to get things together as soon as we can. Siyempre, nangangapa din ako, then nangangapa din mga players sa akin. So it’s an adjustment period, but we want to finish the adjustment as soon as possible,” Uichico said.
The Texters broke the 100-point barrier five days after being held to 81 by Ginebra and held a 16-0 fastbreak advantage, but Uichico was obviously more pleased with a defense that forced NLEX to 29 turnovers.
Defense specialist Ryan Reyes had seven steals, while Washington and Larry Fonacier added two each to deny the Road Warriors’ a 2-0 start in their maiden season since acquiring the Air21 franchise.
NLEX, which debuted last Tuesday with a come-from-behind 101-96 win over GlobalPort, were led by Jonas Villanueva who had 19 points on a near flawless 7-of-8 shooting from the field.
Aldrech Ramos added 14 points while Taulava had 12 points and 13 boards.
TALK N' TEXT 103 - Washington 19, Williams 18, Castro 15, Ganuelas-Rosser 13, Carey 7, Fonacier 7, Reyes Ryan 5, Reyes Rob 5, Alas 4, De Ocampo 4, Labagala 2, Seigle 2, Aban 2, Espiritu 0.
NLEX 81 - Villanueva J. 19, Ramos 14, Cardona 13, Taulava 12, Villanueva 10, Canaleta 5, Borboran 3, Baloria 3, Apinan 2, Raymundo 0, Camson 0, Villarias 0, Arboleda W. 0, Arboleda H. 0.
Quarterscores: 28-15, 39-34, 75-55, 103-81