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Noel displays all-around game anew

Two teams -- San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra -- have won a game playing with an all-Filipino crew in this reinforced tournament.

The task proved too tough for Talk n Text ranged against Ginebra.

The Kings turned back an importless TnT squad, 97-90, to force a four-way logjam at fourth place in the Motolite PBA Fiesta Conference at the Araneta Coliseum Friday.

The Tropang Texters played without an import as the team management sacked Tiras Wade for insubordination. Wade had a run-in with coach Chot Reyes in the middle of the Talk n Text-San Miguel Beer duel Wednesday in the same venue.

The team has enlisted Panamanian national player Gary Forbes to take over from Wade but he couldn't come in time for the game against Ginebra.

The Texters, actually, put up a tough stand but ended up short in their bid.

"We're lucky to survive Talk n Text. They played a great game without having an import. It would have been a big letdown had we lost the game," said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico.

The Kings made it four in a row and caught up with the Tropang Texters, the Burger King Whoppers and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters at 5-5.

David Noel churned out a near triple-double stats with 21 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists without a fellow import to contend with.

The former North Carolina mainstay has been on a roll, following a swashbuckling debut versus Burger King on April 20 then a sterling showing in the All-Star Festivities where he emerged the slam dunk king and MVP of the Sunday finale.

Billy Mamaril, Eric Menk and Jayjay Helterbrand also delivered significant numbers but the Kings nearly squandered an 18-point halftime lead on the Texters' second-half chase.

Mamaril and Menk also finished with double-double numbers with the former making 18 points and 10 rebounds and the latter getting 11 points and 10 rebounds.

It's only the second time in the tournament that three teammates got away with double-double jobs in a game.

Banking on the exploits of Mark Cardona, Ali Peek and Jimmy Alapag, the Texters came to within two points twice late in the third.

Towards the end of the game, the Texters again had a chance to draw within two but Noel blocked a shot by Cardona.

The Texters didn't score the rest of the way, suffering a second straight defeat following an 87-98 loss to the San Miguel Beermen Wednesday.

"It was anybody's game and we're really lucky to pull through. I hope we can sustain the momentum that we have right now," said Uichico. "We're just in the middle of the pack. We have to continue working."

The scores:

Ginebra 97 - Noel 21, Mamaril 18, Menk 11, Helterbrand 10, Artadi 9, Baguio 9, Lanete 7, Intal 6, Tubid 6, Reavis 0.

Talk N' Text 90 - Cardona 22, De Ocampo 19, Carey 15, Alapag 15, Peek 10, Castro 4, Ritualo 3, Dillinger 2, Aljamal 0, Lao 0, De Ocampo 0.

Quarterscores: 32-26, 58-40, 76-72, 97-90

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