MANILA, Philippines – The Talk ’N Text Tropang Texters looked absolutely dominant in the second half on Wednesday, March 18, as they defeated the San Miguel Beermen, 113-93, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to strengthen their bid for a top two seed in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.
The Beermen fell to 3-7 with the loss, which is second worse in the league standings, and are now virtually out of the race for one of the lower postseason seeds.
TNT import Ivan Johnson was on fire all-game long, finishing with 41 points, 19 rebounds, and 5 steals while shooting an impressive 4-of-6 from 3-point range despite coming into the game making just 21% of his attempts from downtown.
Locals stepped up as well, but none more impressive rookie Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, who put up 22 points and 4 rebounds. Ranidel de Ocampo finished with 17 markers, while Larry Fonacier put up 12 points.
The win improved Talk ’N Text to 7-3, putting them in a tie with the Purefoods Star Hotshots for the top seed. The Texters will finish their elimination round campaign on Sunday, March 22, when they take on the 4-5 Alaska Aces at The Big Dome.
The top two teams will have twice-to-beat advantages in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs.
Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler
“It’s good that we were able to get the same effort from the players that we got last Saturday,” said TNT head coach Jong Uichico, who was referring to his team’s classic matchup against Purefoods in Davao City.
“We had that effort and that willingness to win, so that’s good na na-carry over to today’s game.”
Talk ’N Text established a 56-48 lead by the half but extended that lead to 88-62 with a 32-point third quarter outing. SMB, on the other hand, was limited to just 14 points in the third frame.
The game went the Tropang Texters’ way until the final buzzer.
A scary incident occurred at the 5:43 mark of the third period when Arwind Santos’ mother, Arceli, collapsed at the patron section of the arena.
According to Santos’ wife, Ivette Gavieres, Arceli’s nose started to bleed as she began to hyperventilate. Santos’ mother has asthmathic problems, she confirmed, and also said it was the first time such an accident happened.
Santos initially opted to remain in the game, but ultimately decided to leave the arena before the conclusion of the match to be with his mother, who was rushed to a hospital.
Arizona Reid led the Beermen with 32 points and 18 rebounds, while reigning PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo put up 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
The Beermen conclude their elimination round campaign against the GlobalPort Batang Pier on Tuesday, March 24. Mathematically-speaking, SMB is still in contention for a playoff seed, but doing so is extremely difficult with their fate no longer in their hands.
TALK N' TEXT (113) - Johnson 41, Rosser 22, De Ocampo 17, Fonacier 12, Alas 8, Castro 7, Seigle 3, Aban 2, Labagala 1, Washington 0, Carey 0, Reyes 0, Williams 0.
SAN MIGUEL BEER (93) - Reid 32, Fajardo 20, Lassiter 12, Kramer 7, Santos 7, Cabagnot 6, Lutz 5, Ross 2, Reyes 2, Semerad 0, Omolon 0.
Quarter Scores: 28-27, 56-48, 88-62, 113-93