Saturday, 16 April 2011

Conditioned Texters cool down Express in semis opener

Posted by chardyboy on Saturday, April 16, 2011 0 comments


Talk 'N Text's two-week rest hardly slowed it down.

Getting double-doubles from both import Paul Harris and former two-time Philippine team member Ranidel de Ocampo, the Tropang Texters cooled down Air21 Express, 97-90, to take the lead in their PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals series Friday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Harris had a game-high 31 points and 14 rebounds, while De Ocampo tallied a conference-high 27 points and grabbed 12 boards to help the top-seeded team stretch its winning streak to nine games, dating back to the elimination round of the import-laden tournament.

The telecommunications franchise haven't lost since March 2 when they suffered a 103-98 defeat at the hands of Pilipinas-Smart Gilas in its opening match.

In taking Game 1 of the best-of-five showdown, Talk 'N Text also extended its mastery over Air21, a team that hadn't beaten the Tropang Texters since escaping with a 112-111 win on June 13, 2008 in the Fiesta Confernce's second round of eliminations.

But the Express didn't just roll over and die even as the Tropang Texters threatened to rip the game apart when they led by 21 points three times, the last at 80-59.

Josh Urbiztondo waxed hot again from the outside, connecting on four goals from three-point country, the last of which pushed the Express back into the game, 91-84, with 5:18 remaining.

But Harris scored back-to-back baskets, and Air21 went scoreless in the next three-and-a-half minutes.

By the time Air21 scored again on a Wynne Arboleda three-pointer with 1:45 left and a jumper by Alpha Bangura, it was 95-89 with 1:14 to go.

Bangura led the Express with 23 points, while Danny Seigle added 15.

The Express obviously missed Dondon Hontiveros' offensive spark as the usually steady Cebuano had an off night to finish with only six points on 2-of-7 shooting from the field.

Talk 'N Text was without big guard Jared Dillinger, who underwent surgery in the U.S. to repair a separated shoulder.

He won't be back in a Tropang Texters uniform until the playoffs of the season-ending Governors' Cup. - JVP, KY, GMA News

Talk 'N Text 97 -
Harris 31, De Ocampo 27, Peek 10, Castro 8, Fonacier 5, Alapag 5, Aban 4, Williams 4, Reyes 3, Oreta 0, Carey 0.

Air21 90 - Bangura 23, Seigle 15, Urbiztondo 12, Najorda 8, Artadi 8, Avenido 7,
Hontiveros 6, Arboleda 6, Reyes 5, Sharma 0, Pena 0.

Quarter scores: 28-19; 56-43; 80-63; 97-90.


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