TALK ‘N Text exploded in the fourth quarter as it turned back Columbian Dyip, 109-102, for its fifth straight win – the longest streak thus far in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The win came a bit harder for the KaTropa, who were dragged by the Dyip into a tough contest for three full quarters before a lean Friday crowd at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Turns out, the KaTropa were just waiting for the right moment which came right at the onset of the fourth period when they pounded the Dyip with a dizzying offensive anchored on import Terrence Jones, Roger Pogoy and Jayson Castro, with remarkable help from Bryan Heruela, Yousef Taha and Troy Rosario.
Jones completed a three-point play, Pogoy added a floater and a layup, Castro chipped in jumper and triple in a telling 21-9 binge which gave the KaTropa a 94-80 lead with five minutes remaining.
After that, the KaTropa simply protected their lead and watched the Dyip fail to flash the same form that enabled them to post an 8-point lead over Tall ‘N Text earlier.
Jones finished with 39 points, 17 rebounds and six assists, Castro chipped in 22 points, five rebounds and six assists while Pogoy tallied 16 points and six rebounds for Talk ‘N Text which also wrested the solo lead in the mid-season conference.
It was gutsy stand by the Dyip who fought the KaTropa tooth and nail for three full quarters behind the impressive performance of Lester Prosper, JP Calvo and CJ Perez.
Prosper scored 37 points and hauled down 20 rebounds, Calvo added 15 points and six rebounds, and Perez 22 points and nine rebounds, but their efforts were not enough to keep the Dyip from falling to their fifth loss in six outings.
Meanwhile, Blackwater parades its new import in Jameel McKay as it plays a rejuvenated NorthPort in the 4:30 opening tussle of a double-header also at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Mckay is not a first timer in the PBA, having played for Phoenix in the same conference two years ago. The 26-year old McKay is coming over as replacement for Alex Stepheson, who failed to return to the country due to health problem.
The 6-foot-10 Stepheson helped steer Blackwater to a 5-1 record but had to leave for the US last week to seek medical treatment. He missed the Blackwater’s last outing against San Miguel Beer last June 14, resulting into the Elite absorbing a 127-106 spanking from the Beermen.
The Elite also have to contend a NorthPort team that now looks more formidable with the acquisition of Sol Mercado, Jervy Cruz and Kevin Ferrer after losing Stanley Pringle in recent trade.
TNT (109) - Jones 39, Castro 22, Pogoy 16, Rosario 8, Reyes 8, Trollano 5, Taha 4, T. Semerad 3, D. Semerad 2, Heruela 2, Carey 0.
Columbian (102) - Prosper 37, Perez 22, Calvo 15, Corpuz 8, McCarthy 5, Celda 5, Khobuntin 4, Cahilig 4, Agovida 0, Reyes 0, Camson 0.
Quarterscores: 22-27, 51-50, 73-71, 109-102.