BIG FINISH GIVES TALK ‘N TEXT HARD-EARNED “W”

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BIG FINISH GIVES TALK ‘N TEXT HARD-EARNED “W”




Peek, Dillinger deliver down the stretch

Tiras Wade wasn't in his elements but his local teammates were there to pick up the slack as Talk n Text kept its run going and closed in on the leaders in the Motolite PBA Fiesta Conference at the Cuneta Astrodome Monday.

Ali Peek, Macmac Cardona, Jared Dillinger and Jimmy Alapag all scored in double figures as the Tropang Texters topped the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 102-96, to move one rung up to third place, heading to the closing stage of the classification round.

"This is one of those grinding wins. We found a way to grind it out," said Talk n Text coach Chot Reyes as they came through with a third straight win to improve their record to 5-3, just half-game behind the second-running Sta. Lucia Realtors (6-3).

"We gained more ground on the leaders but we're still far from where we wanted to be," added Reyes, determined to finish in the top two in the classification round to gain outright seat in the semifinals.

The Tropang Texters pressed their bid against the Elasto Painters, overcoming a mere 19-point showing from their usually prolific import.

Wade, the league leading scorer, struggled with a 7-of-20 field-goal shooting to finish 16 below his average.

"Tiras was off. Good for us, his teammates were there to save the night for us. That's how teamwork works," said Reyes.

Peek, Cardona, Dillinger and Alapag carried the cudgels for the Tropang Texters, carrying them past the Elasto Painters who absorbed a fourth straight defeat and their fifth in 10 games overall.

The Texters charged back from a 10-point deficit early in the fourth quarter and upended the Painters by holding them scoreless in the last 1:47 of play.

The Painters could have built an even bigger lead if not for 10 straight free throw misses in a five-minute span bridging the last two quarters.

"They missed 10 straight free throws. That's a lot, that's huge," said Reyes.

Pouncing on Rain or Shine's free-throw misses, Talk n Text slowly worked its way to gain the upper hand at 90-89 with 4:43 left to play.

The Painters had their last taste of the lead at 96-94 before Dillinger scored on a short stab, Alapag nailed a charity then Peek also scored from short range as the Texters took the lead to stay at 99-96.

Rain or Shine eventually lost the game as Sol Mercado misfired a three-pointer in the next play. (NC)

The scores:

Talk N' Text 102 - Wade 19, Peek 18, Cardona 17, Dillinger 14, Alapag 12, De Ocampo R. 8, Carey 6, Castro 3, Aljamal 3, Ritualo 2, Lao o.

Rain or Shine 96 - Reyes 22, Lewis 14, Wainwright 12, Isip 10, Dulay 9, Tang 7, Ibanes 7, Norwood 6, Mercado 4, Laure 3, Arana 2, Salangsang 0.

Quarterscores: 23-23, 44-47, 72-80, 102-96.


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