2014 PBA Governors’ Cup: Texters’s locals tow the team past Air 21!

Ranidel De Ocampo and the rest of the Tropang Texters’ local crew came up huge once again, bucking the foul trouble to import Rodney Carney and beating the Air 21 Express, 102-91. RDO showcased his awesome space-flooring capability againg, shooting 8/13 from the field, including 2 treys, on his way to a team-high 24 points. He also had 6 rebounds and 2 assists for TNT, which tied the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers for a share of the lead in the team standings at 4-1.

Ranidel De Ocampo led the Texters to their fourth win in five elims games so far.

It’a not really that Air 21 played terribly in this game. They actually had pretty good numbers overall, even outrebounding TNT, 47-39, but they just ran into a hot-shooting Texters quintet. One thing that really tipped the favor on the side of coach Norman Black’s crew, however, was bench production. The TNT reserves scored a total of 47 points, with three guys scoring in double-figures, while Air 21’s second unit contributed just 18 markers. Of course, it helps when guys like Jayson Castro and Kelly Williams are coming off the pine for TNT. That’s a clear testament to their depth. 

Baclao is Back!: The first overall pick of the 2010 has arguably been a flop so far in his young pro career, but he looks to rejuvenate things with his old college coach here at TNT. His career averages so far look like this: 3.0ppg, 3.9rpg, 0.9bpg, 0.426 FG%, and a player efficiency rating of just 17.6 EFF. In his last three games for TNT, however, he has normed 4.3ppg, 8.7rpg, and 2.3bpg with an average EFF rating of 24.7. In short, it looks like he has found his sweet spot once again.

Game recap by Rey Joble/InterAKTV:

TALK N TEXT over AIR 21, 102-91

The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters bucked some foul trouble to their import but still got the job done against Air 21, 102-91, to grab a share of the lead in the standings of the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup on Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

With their local crew clicking offensively yet again, Talk ‘N Text picked up its fourth victory in five games this conference, tying the San Mig Coffee Mixers atop the leaderboard.

Ranidel De Ocampo scored 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Tropang Texters while their point guard duo of Jayson Castro and Jimmy Alapag added 19 and 16 respectively.

Kelly Williams also finished with 11 points and Harvey Carey chipped in with 10.

With reinforcement Rodney Carney getting sporadic minutes in the second half due to foul trouble, it was up to the locals to take over for Talk ‘N Text as they built leads of as high as 20 points.

They led by just four points, 52-48, early in the third quarter before De Ocampo and Alapag sparked a big 18-5 run that gave Talk ‘N Text a whopping 17-point edge, 70-53.

Castro then took over late in the third, scoring nine of the team’s last 11 points as they held off Air 21 to lead, 83-67, heading into the final period.

In the fourth, the Tropang Texters built their largest lead at 95-75 after Alapag completed a three-point play and De Ocampo added two more from the charity stripe.

Air 21 tried to make one last charge after Joseph Yeo knocked down back-to-back three-pointers from the same spot to spark a 9-0 blast for the Express.

But Talk ‘N Text made a gem of a play after De Ocampo suckered in the defense to set up a wide open alley-oop jam for Kelly Williams to restore the lead to 12 points, 99-87, with a little over a minute remaining.

Asi Taulava responded quickly with a bucket underneath. But Talk ‘N Text had an answer yet again as Castro found defensive stalwart Noy Baclao open for a corner three-pointer that connected.

Carney was clearly outperformed by Air 21 reinforcement Dominique Sutton, scoring just 12 points to Sutton’s game-high 31, but it hardly mattered with the stellar play of Talk ‘N Text’s locals.

TNT 102 – De Ocampo 24, Castro 19, Alapag 16, Carney 12, Williams 11, Carey 10, Fonacier 5, Baclao 3, Canaleta 2, Reyes Rob 0, Reyes Ryan 0.
AIR 91 – Sutton 31, Taulava 20, Ramos 10, Poligrates 8, Yeo 8, Villanueva J. 5, Atkins 4, Cardona 3, Borboran 2, Villanueva E. 0, Jaime 0, Burtscher 0, Camson 0.
QS: 23-19, 52-44, 83-67, 102-91.

Dom Sutton's 31 points were not enough as Air 21 fell to 3-2 in the team standings.

Jayson Castro came off the bench to drop 19 markers on the Express.

Images are by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5.

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