MANILA, Philippines - The local players of the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters stepped up to the plate once again on Monday, June 2 with a 102-91 drubbing of the Air21 Express at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The victory gave the Texters a 4-1 win-loss record, which allowed the them to take their fair share of the top spot in the standings of the 2014 PLDT Home Telpad Governors' Cup along with the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers.
The Texters were buoyed by their local players in this contest with Ranidel de Ocampo leading the charge and scattering 24 points and grabbing 7 rebounds.
Jayson Castro wasn't too far behind with his 19 points, while Jimmy Alapag maintained his steady performance as of late with 16 points on 3-of-4 three-point shooting, along with 8 dimes.
Alapag and Castro combined for 18 points in the third canto, making up the bulk of Talk 'N Text's 31-point ouput in that period, which allowed them to pull away from the Express for good, heading into the fourth with a commanding 83-67 lead.
Kelly Williams and Harvey Carey also finished in double digit figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Carey did the work on the boards as well with 8 rebounds.
Even Nonoy Baclao, who only figured in 3 points, made some noise in this game particulalry on defense with his 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Head coach Norman Black was happy his team managed a dominant win but admitted he wasn't satisfied with his import's performance.
"It was a good job again by my local players. They really stepped up and really led us to this victory. And that's really been the key to our success the last week," Black said. "But we still need a little bit more support from our import."
While his team survived the past week after they lost their original import Othyus Jeffers due to contractual problems, Black is wary about how they'll manage with Rodney Carney as the conference wears on.
"That's really a big question right now because we obviously need more support from the import," Black explained.
"Fortunately for myself and for the team, the local unit has stepped up and kind of filled in the void of what's been missing offensively and defensively. But you can't expect that to happen all the time or every game."
In this game, Carney had a lackluster showing of just 12 points and two rebounds. He went only 1-of-5 from the field and was pushed to the outside where he scored on 3-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Black said he will be discussing with his coaching staff and the management on what they will do with their import moving forward.
Air21, on the other hand, was simply out of their element in this game and while they did attempt a final run in the fourth that brought them to within 97-87 with 3:02 left, the lead proved too big to overcome with so little time remaining and against a team with so many weapons.
Import Dominique Sutton had a 31-point, 14-rebound performance in tandem with Asi Taulava's 20 points and 15 boards.
After a spirited start to the conference, the Express are now in third place with a 3-2 slate.
Talk ’N Text 102 - De Ocampo 24, Castro 19, Alapag 16, Carney 12, Williams 11, Carey 10, Fonacier 5, Baclao 3, Canaleta 2, Reyes Rob 0, Reyes Ryan 0.
Air21 91 - Sutton 31, Taulava 20, Ramos 10, Poligrates 8, Yeo 8, Villanueva J. 5, Atkins 4, Cardona 3, Borboran 2, Villanueva E. 0, Jaime 0, Burtscher 0, Camson 0.
Quarter scores: 23-19, 52-44, 83-67, 102-91.