The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters probably thought the game was over early in the fourth quarter. The Alaska Aces believed otherwise.
Talk ‘N Text survived a late charge from Alaska, which cut a 21-point fourth quarter lead to just three, to hold on to an 80-72 victory in PBA Governors’ Cup action in Tubod, Lanao del Norte Saturday night.
The Tropang Texters were still up, 73-53, early in the final period when the Aces unleashed a 19-2 run capped by two free throws by import Jason Forte with under two minutes remaining.
With Alaska breathing down his team’s neck, Talk ‘N Text coach sued for time and drew up a play that saw Ranidel De Ocampo hit a crucial three-pointer to give the Tropang Texters a 78-72 lead with 1:05 left.
Talk ‘N Text came up with a stop in the ensuing possession, before Jayson Castro scored a layup. Castro then sealed the win for the Tropang Texters with a steal in the next play.
Paul Harris had 25 points and 17 rebounds for Talk ‘N Text, which overcame a poor start by taking a 45-35 halftime lead, while Larry Fonacier scored 13 of his 16 points in the first half.
Forte and Mac Baracael, the architects of the late Alaska comeback, led the Aces with 24 and 20 points, respectively.
Alaska suffered its sixth loss in seven games, becoming the first team eliminated from contention in the tournament, coach Luigi Trillo’s first at the helm of the Aces.
Talk ‘N Text, meanwhile, improved its win-loss record to 2-3.
Talk ‘N Text 80 – Harris 25, Fonacier 16, De Ocampo 9, Williams 8, Aguilar 6, Castro 4, Peek 4, Gamalinda 3, Aban 3, Alapag 2.
ALASKA 72 – Forte 24, Baracael 20, Espinas 8, Thoss 6, Eman 5, Baguio 5, Custodio 2, Dela Cruz 2, Tenorio 0, Jazul 0, Cablay 0.
Quarters: 16-22, 45-35, 66-49, 80-72
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