TALK ‘N Text escaped the upset axe against Blackwater, hacking out a 98-91 victory on Friday to put an end to its slide in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Tropang Texters gave the Elite false hopes of pulling off a stunning win, then came alive in crunch time to score the hard-earned that snapped an uncharacteristic four-game losing streak.
Larry Fonacier and Ranidel de Ocampo buried the biggest baskets down the stretch, while Matt Ganuelas-Rosser sparked the comeback with his energy and finished with 21 points, nine boards, two blocks for the Texters, who improved to 4-5 to keep their playoff bid alive.
The Elite wasted a double-digit lead that grew to as many as 16 points to suffer a fourth straight defeat and seventh overall against a lone win to get stuck at the bottom.
“Alam ng players ko yung sitwasyon,” Texters coach Jong Uichico said. “Pero ang sama nga ng umpisa namin. Buti nakabawi naman kami.”
For a while, though, it was the Elite who looked poised to stop their tailspin as they nurtured a sizeable lead most of the game.
But what was once a 32-16 cushion in the second quarter became just a solitary point heading into the final frame.
Fonacier put the Texters on top for good at 75-73 after a three-pointer, then hit another triple that capped off a run that gave them their biggest lead at 86-78, while De Ocampo knocked down three treys in that span that kept the Elite at bay.
The Gilas Pilipinas duo ably supported Ganuelas-Rosser, who fired 11 of his output in the fourth quarter.
“We know they (Elite) play hard every game,” Texters coach Jong Uichico said. “But we have to take care of ourselves. It’s more on our side rather than the opponent’s side. That’s what we’re trying to correct right now.”
Brian Heruela led the way for the Elite, who failed to draw significant contribution from new import Marcus Cousin as Marcus Douthit’s replacement tallied just 16 points and nine boards against five turnovers in 43 minutes.
TNT 98 – Rosser 21, Fonacier 20, Daghles 15, De Ocampo 14, Seigle 10, Pettigrew 7, Castro 7, Williams 4, Carey 0, Aban 0
BLACKWATER 91 – Heruela 21, Cousin 16, Faundo 14, Gamalinda 12, Cervantes 9, Celiz 5, Bulawan 5, Ballesteros 5, Acuna 3, Erram 1, Laure 0, Reyes 0
Quarterscores: 16-24, 41-50, 70-71, 98-91