Talk n Text stayed alive, breathing and kicking.
The Tropang Texters started and finished strong as they repulsed dethroned champions Petron Blaze Boosters, 103-94, and kept their flickering hopes for the PBA Governors Cup finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Friday night.
“Yes, we’re still alive but nothing has changed – one miss we die,” said Talk n Text coach Chot Reyes.
“As I’ve said, we’ve shortened our sight. We’re playing each possession as our last,” Reyes insisted.
The Tropang Texters survived a second straight do-or-die game but would need two more for a possible playoff for the second finals berth.
“We go up next against the league leader (Rain or Shine on Monday). Hopefully, our instinct to survive prevails over their instinct for advancement,” Reyes said.
Paul Harris and Jimmy Alapag combined for 51 points with both firing away 10 markers in the final period as Talk n Text notched a second straight win and improved its carryover record to 7-5.
Rain or Shine is two full games ahead at 9-3 while Barangay Ginebra and B-Meg are a game in front at 8-4.
Petron slid further down at 6-7.
“We had a good effort against Petron but all it did was to keep our heads above water,” said Reyes.
The eloquent Talk n Text mentor made special mention of Alapag who dished out a solid game though nursing a fever.
The peppery playmaker banged away three triples and finished with 21 points, five assists and two rebounds in 29 minutes of action.
Alapag set up Ali Peek then Harris for crucial baskets and then rifled in a booming trey in a key assault putting Talk n Text back in control at 93-84 entering the last four minutes of the game.
The Texters stormed off the starting block, taking the first quarter at 28-19 then the half at 49-38 before facing a searing Petron charge in the third period.
Chris Lutz and Danny Ildefonso scored eight points each as the Boosters tried to turn the game around, surging ahead, 72-70, after the third quarter.
The Texters, however, kept their poise and composure, riding high on the exploits of Harris and Alapag as they regained control in the fourth quarter.
Harris came through with 31 points, nine rebounds and four assists as against Marcus Faison’s measly 10 markers and four boards. (SB)
TALK N' TEXT 103 - Harris 31, Alapag 21, De Ocampo 19, Castro 10, Fonacier 8, Williams 7, Aguilar 4, Peek 3, Reyes 0, Aban 0, Alvarez 0.
PETRON 94 - Lutz 23, Ildefonso 17, Faison 10, Santos 10, Washington 10, Cabagnot 9, Yeo 7, Lanete 4, Pena 4, Hontiveros 0.
Quarters: 28-19, 49-38, 70-72, 103-94