TALK ‘N Text aced its toughest test so far in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, turning back San Mig Coffee, 81-75, on Monday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum to sustain its dominance in the import-spiced conference.
The Tropang Texters caught the Mixers flat-footed in the first half, before weathering a late storm by the Mixers to remain unscathed after seven starts.
“We are where we want to be right now,” Texters coach Norman Black said. “But, it’s still early. And now, the hard part. We hope we keep playing at a high level going into the last two games.”
The Texters also dealt the Philippine Cup champions only their second loss in five games as the latter dropped to third spot behind idle San Miguel Beer.
Import Richard Howell also sustained his super play, tallying 25 points, 20 boards, and two steals to lead TNT.
The scoreline hardly reflected how one-sided the match pitting two title contenders as the Tropang Texters maintained a double-digit lead throughout.
Talk `N Text even shot worse than San Mig from the field, making only 36.9 percent of its attempts, compared to 42.9 percent by its opponent, although the Tropang Texters forced the Mixers to commit 18 turnovers which they translated to 22 points.
San Mig, behind Ian Sangalang and James Yap, threatened midway through the fourth quarter after scoring nine unanswered points to cut the deficit to 57-63 after a Yap fast-break layup.
But Jayson Castro retaliated with a layup and two free throws before Larry Fonacier buried two triples as Talk `N Text kept San Mig at bay.
James Mays tallied 27 points, 12 boards, five blocks, and two assists, while Sangalang was the lone local in double-figure scoring for the Mixers with 15 markers along with four rebounds.
TALK N' TEXT (81) – Howell 25, De Ocampo 13, Castro 13, Fonacier 8, Canaleta 6, Reyes 5, Alapag 5, Williams 4, Carey 2, Baclao 0.
SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE (75) – Mays 27, Sangalang 15, Mallari 9, Simon 9, Yap 5, Barroca 4, Pingris 3, Melton 3, De Ocampo 0, Devance 0.
Quarterscores: 19-15; 44-26; 59-46; 81-75.