TALK ‘N Text kept its flickering title hopes alive as it nipped Petron Blaze, 103-94, on Friday night in the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals at the Araneta Coliseum.
Paul Harris and Jimmy Alapag delivered down the stretch, combining for 20 points in the payoff period to steer the Texters to their seventh win in 12 games.
Harris finished with 31 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and four blocks, while Alapag, who had flu-like symptoms, had 21 points—knocking in 3-of-5 triples—and five assists.
“We’re still breathing,” Texters coach Chot Reyes said. “But nothing has changed.”
The Texters still need to win their last two games to have a chance for a playoff for the last Finals berth under the 4-of-5 semis incentive scheme.
Aside from Alapag, Ryan Reyes, who played for five minutes, was also coming off sickbay. The defensive-minded swingman was discharged from the hospital on Thursday after being admitted due to high fever and severe coughs and colds.
Harvey Carey and Jared Dillinger are still out for the Texters.
“Our main concern is just to have players on the court,” Reyes said.
The Boosters absorbed their seventh loss in 13 games and officially bowed out of championship contention.
To their credit, they made things interesting in the third quarter.
Led by rookie Chris Lutz and veteran Danny Ildefonso, the Boosters turned a double-digit halftime deficit to a two-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
But the Texters readily shook off the Boosters’ huge fightback. Harris gave the Texters the lead for good after his basket with seven minutes and eight seconds remaining made it 83-82.
Lutz came away with 23 points, five boards, and four assists, while Ildefonso churned in 17 and three boards for Petron.
Import Marcus Faison had another sub-par showing for the Boosters, tallying just 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting from the field.
TALK ‘N TEXT (103) -- Harris 31, Alapag 21, De Ocampo 19, Castro 10, Fonacier 8, Williams 7, Aguilar 4, Peek 3, Reyes 0, Aban 0, Alvarez 0
PETRON (94) -- Lutz 23, Ildefonso 17, Faison 10, Santos 10, Washington 10, Cabagnot 9, Yeo 7, Lanete 4, Pena 4, Hontiveros 0
Quarterscores: 28-19, 49-38, 70-72, 103-94