2011 PBA Philippine Cup Semifinals: Larry Legend Shines for TNT

Larry Fonacier rifled in 5 triples to lead the Texters past the
Boosters in Game 1 of their Best-of-7 semis series.

 *All images by Nuki Sabio/PBA.ph

Talk 'N Text's injured star players may be back, but it is still one durable player who stole the limelight. Larry Fonacier scored half of his game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter to lift TNT to nail-biter over Petron Blaze at the start of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal duel.

The clutch explosion by the only man who has played all of the Texters' games since last season enabled them to withstand a spirited comeback by the Alex Cabagnot-led Boosters and gain an important advantage in the best-of-seven series.

Japeth Aguilar and the Texters blocked the
hopes of Alex Cabagnot and the Boosters.

Winning coach Chot Reyes, however, was far from satisfied by the way his team still got threatened at 85-83 and almost blew a 73-60 fourth quarter lead behind seven straight points by Cabagnot and a baseline jumper by Arwind Santos, still 21.7 seconds left.

Kelly Williams showed little ill effects of a reconstructive surgery done on his nose after TNT made the semis last Dec. 14, finishing with 14 points and 7 rebounds, while the likes of Ali Peek, Ryan Reyes, Ranidel de Ocampo and Jimmy Alapag all returned to action.

Ryan Reyes (L) was back in action for the Texters, but it was
Petron's Rob Reyes (R) who made the bigger impact.

Still, Fonacier clearly hogged the limelight by going 5-for-8 from beyond the arc and adding 6 rebounds in his 81st straight game. His two free throws in the last 18.9 seconds also clinched it for the Texters.

Despite going scoreless in the first half, Cabagnot still wound up with 20 points on top of 7 assists while Rob Reyes submitted career numbers with 18 points and 14 rebounds. After carrying the fight for Petron in the early goings Chris Lutz wound up with 15 points, but missed a hurried three-point shot from the right corner in the last 16 seconds.  Santos was a big factor off the boards with 20 rebounds, but he was limited to just 10 points before fouling out off Fonacier.

Chris Lutz tried to carry the fight for the Boosters, but
he missed a big shot late in the game.

Fonacier's third triple of the night gave the Texters their second 13-point spread before Cabagnot buckled down to work and, together with Reyes, led the Boosters back.

TNT 87 – Fonacier 22, Williams 14, Castro 10, Dillinger 9, Reyes 9, Peek 8, Aguilar 5,
Carey 5, Gamalinda 2, De Ocampo 2, Alapag 1.
PBB 83 – Cabagnot 20, Reyes 18, Lutz 15, Santos 10, Tugade 9, Ildefonso 6, Yeo 4, Baclao 1, Doruelo 0, Agustin 0, Miranda 0.
QS: 25-18, 45-36, 69-57, 87-83

Source: Game recap was compressed and compiled from PBA.ph
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