FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters
Talk ‘N Text encountered little trouble in dispatching, 96-83, to stay on top of the 2011 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

After Jason Castro and Japeth Aguilar put the game away early, the reserves did a good job of maintaining the lead as the Tropang Texters extended their winning streak to five games despite playing with a crippled lineup.

Castro had a game-high 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field while Aguilar had another all-around performance with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocks.

“The key for us was one, not to take the other team lightly and two, we wanted to find a way to get our key players rested because we know we have a big game on Saturday against Rain or Shine,” said TNT head coach Chot Reyes.

“We know that we are gonna need all our energy and stamina against Rain or Shine. Good thing I was able to rest Kelly (Williams), JD (Jared Dillinger) and Larry (Fonacier) and we were able to keep Jason’s minutes relatively low,” he added.

The defending champions played minus Jimmy Alapag, Ryan Reyes, Ali Peek and Aaron Aban due to injuries and signed Bambam Gamalinda and Shawn Weinstein to at least have warm bodies to relieve the starters.

The Clickers were still in the game early in the second period, 27-28, on Paolo Hubalde’s three-pointer but Aguilar and Castro conspired as the Texters finished the first half with a 21-5 spurt to carry a 51-32 lead going to the break.

Their lead reached as high as 27 points, 76-49 under two minutes left in the third quarter and the Tropang Texters were never seriously threatened after that.

Harvey Carey and Ranidel de Ocampo each had 10 points for TNT, which plays the three San Miguel Corporation teams after the Elasto Painters.

“We still have a very, very tough schedule ahead. We need to find ways to get production from a lot of players to be able to survive,” said Reyes. “We’re now facing the tough part of our schedule.”

Jojo Duncil led Shopinas with 16 points while Elmer Espiritu and Pong Escobal each had 13 markers for the Clickers who at 0-10 will likely be the first team to be booted out in the All-Filipino tournament.

The scores:

TALK N’ TEXT 96 – Castro 17, Aguilar 16, De Ocampo 10, Carey 10, Dillinger 8, Williams 8, Gamalinda 6, Oreta 5, Raymundo 4, Weinstein 4, Fonacier 4, Membrere 2, Lao 2.

SHOPINAS.COM 83 – Duncil 16, Espiritu 13, Escobal 13, Jazul 7, Sena 6, Menor 6, Hubalde 5, Sison 4, Aquino 4, Ritualo 4, Daa 3, Mirza 2, Canlas 0.

Quarters: 19-17, 51-32, 76-52, 96-83


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