A SHORTHANDED Talk ‘N Text still proved too good for GlobalPort, cruising to a 107-96 victory on Friday to enhance its bid for a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals of the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Already without star forward Ranidel de Ocampo, the Tropang Texters lost another big man in top rookie pick Mo Tautuaa due to back spasms, but that hardly mattered as they erased an early deficit and maintained a sizeable margin throughout.
Jayson Castro regained his touch and finish with a game-high 25 points, while Troy Rosario stepped up in the absence of his fellow freshman, tallying 19 points and seven boards.
“We needed this win,” Texters coach Jong Uichico said. “We just want to get the twice to beat (advantage).”
The Texters chalked up a sixth win in 10 games for a share of fifth spot with Ginebra, moving a half-game behind their victims who stayed in fourth after finishing the eliminations with a 7-4 win-loss record.
Even with more to lose than the Batang Pier, who are already assured of a twice-to-beat advantage in the first round of the playoffs, the Texters still came out with a lesser sense of urgency as they let GlobalPort jump out to an early nine-point lead.
TNT, though, quickly turned the game around in the second canto where they outscored the Batang Pier, 38-22, to establish a nine-point lead at halftime, a cushion they never relinquished and grew to as many as 19.
Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle shone as usual with 24 points apiece and led a comeback that, however, proved too late as they never came closer than eight points in the finale frame.
TNT 107 – Castro 25, Rosario 19, Aban 9, Carey 9, Fonacier 9, Seigle 9, Williams 7, Rosser 6, Reyes R. 6, Reyes J. 5, Miranda 3, Rodriguez 0
GLOBALPORT 96 – Pringle 24, Romeo 24, Yeo 14, Semerad 9, Jensen 8, Mamaril 6, Kramer 5, Maierhofer 4, Washington 2, Isip 0, Paniamogan 0, Pena 0, Uyloan 0, Sumang 0
Quarterscores: 15-22, 53-44, 83-69, 107-96