SLR 91, TnT 97

On: 15 April 2009

PBA Fiesta 2009

In a win which head coach Chot Reyes said they could have also lost, Talk ‘N Text allowed Sta. Lucia Realty with 61 points and 16 fastbreak points in the second half, then barely hung on for a 97-91 victory Wednesday (15 April 2009) night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Mac-Mac Cardona scored 19 points and his three-point shot with 3:49 remaining was the team’s only field goal in the last 4:30 minutes. He followed it with a two free throws to cushion Sta. Lucia’s fiery charge that pulled the Realtors to within five points with still plenty to play.

"It’s one of those games when a win feels like a loss. They say a win is a win but this one win I think is a loss," said Reyes, who watched his team blow another comfortable lead for the third straight game.

“We held them to 30 points in the first half but we gave up 61 points in the second half. We just can’t seem to find that consistency and the killer instinct to put people away and that’s really a problem that we have to address."

Tiras Wade led all scorers with 26 points but shot just 3-of-13 in the second half, typifying exactly how TNT’s offense went in the last 24 minutes.

But at least Talk 'N Text, which had a 0-2 start in the conference, nailed its second straight win and fourth in seven games that enabled them to gain ground in the standings in the Motolite PBA Fiesta Conference.

It was the first time the Tropang Texters went above 0.500 in the tournament.

"I’m proud that we hang in there and played tough despite without our two big men (Yancy de Ocampo and Rob Reyes who both suffered injuries during the break). But again it’s hard to be happy when you squander a 34 point lead."

"Hopefully, we learn from it and find that nice balance in between. There are times when we look good out there and there are times when we look so horrible. At least we have more good looks than bad looks," Reyes said.

Anthony Johnson scored 18 points but went scoreless in the fourth, spending more time on the bench due to cramps. Joseph Yeo added 16 and his basket and a free throw with a little over two minutes to go shoved Sta. Lucia to within 87-92. But the Realtors never got any closer the rest of the way.

The loss snapped Sta. Lucia’s two-game streak although the Realtors stayed in second place in a tie with Rain or Shine at 5-3 behind league-leader San Miguel Beer, the only unbeaten team in the tournament with seven victories in as many games.

Sta. Lucia was just a point down after Johnson scored back-to-back baskets but the Tropang Texters quickly answered with a 26-11 run and TNT roared to a 33-17 lead after one quarter.

TNT posted its biggest lead at 59-25 on a basket by Cardona with 2:08 left in the second quarter.

The Tropang Testers, the reigning Philippine Cup titlist, were coming off a 124-122 win over Alaska last March 7 in a game wherein they also were able to eke out a win despite squandering a 19-point third quarter lead.

Five days before that win over the Aces, Talk 'N Text had lost to Barako Bull 135-133 despite leading by 24 with 8:59 left to play.

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