A Talk ‘N Text side that lacked production from its import still proved too much against Air21, coasting to a 102-91 victory on Monday night to keep its lofty perch in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena,
Rodney Carney registered his second sub-20-point output in three games, mustering just 12 points and ending up scoreless in the second half, a stretch when the Tropang Texters, ironically, broke the game wide open on the way to their fourth win in five games.
The victory enabled them to claim a piece of the lead with idle San Mig Super Coffee.
“It was a good job by my local players,” Texters coach Norman Black said. “But we still need a lot of support from our import.”
Ranidel de Ocampo led the locals’ attack with 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting, while Jayson Castro, Jimmy Alapag, Kelly Williams, and Harvey Carey scored in double figures for Talk `N Text.
The Express, despite drawing significant production from their own import Dominique Sutton and the ageless Asi Taulava delivering as usual, suffered only their second loss in five games.
The Texters maintained a double-digit cushion that grew to as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter after two De Ocampo charities made it 95-75.
The Express made one last push, mounting a 12-2 run to cut the deficit into half.
But Williams retaliated with an alley-oop slam off a De Ocampo feed to take the fight out of the giant-killing Express.
TALK N' TEXT (102) -- De Ocampo 24, Castro 19, Alapag 16, Carney 12, Williams 11, Carey 10, Fonacier 5, Baclao 3, Canaleta 2, Reyes Rob 0, Reyes Ryan 0.
AIR21 (91) -– Sutton 31, Taulava 20, Ramos 10, Poligrates 8, Yeo 8, Villanueva J. 5, Atkins 4, Cardona 3, Borboran 2, Villanueva E. 0, Jaime 0, Burtscher 0, Camson 0.
Quarterscores: 23-19; 52-44; 83-67; 102-91.