SLR 112, TnT 117

On: 24 December 2009

SLR vs TnT

Mark Cardona came through with his third 30-point job in their last four games with six other Talk n Text Tropang Texters also finishing in double figures as they overcame the Sta. Lucia Realtors, 117-112, in a high-scoring duel to stay right behind the top two placers in the KFC PBA Philippine Cup at the Astrodome on 23 December 2009.

Cardona scattered 34 points and drew significant help from Ali Peek, Harvey Carey, Jimmy Alapag, Jason Castro, Jarred Dillinger and Ranidel de Ocampo as they kept their domination of the Realtors in their head-to-head battles and firmed up their hold of third place behind the San Miguel Beermen (12-3) and the Alaska Milk Aces (11-2) with a 10-5 win-loss record.

Cardona knocked in two treys and went 10-of-16 from the two-point zone and 8-of-12 from the stripe in his fifth 30-point game in the all-Filipino tourney.

"I was worried coming into this game since Jimmy Alapag and Jarred Dillinger are not 100 percent healthy. I was also wary of Sta. Lucia which has been playing as well as any other team in the league right now. I was glad we got in sync at the finish and came through," said Talk n Text coach Chot Reyes.

"Other guys like Pong Escobal and Jason Castro held the fort for our team early on, allowing Jimmy and Jarred to finish strong," Reyes also said as they made it two in a row over the Realtors this conference.

Ryan Reyes fired a career-best 32 points but the Realtors faltered at the finish, thus, moving down to sixth place with a 7-6 card.

Kelly Williams and Joseph Yeo combined for 34 points but both threw bricks in the crunch. Williams finished with a woeful 4-of-18 field-goal shooting and Yeo with a 3-of-14 clip.

The Realtors seemed to have seized control at 102-98 before running into a maze of errors and misses.

Cardona and Alapag knocked in four points each in an eight-to-nothing Talk n Text blitz sending the Texters ahead to stay at 106-102.

Actually, Reyes and Joseph Urbiztondo still kept the Realtors into the fight until Alapag rifled in a back-breaking three-pointer giving the Texters a 113-107 advantage with less than a minute left to play.

Alapag had another sterling off-the-bench job, firing nine of his 14 points in the payoff period. He also got away with two assists and one rebound in 16 minutes of play.

"For Jimmy, it's about heart," said Reyes of his prized guard, bucking a hamstring injury.

Cardona and Reyes engaged in a shootout early, highlighting the fierce game marked by 13 deadlocks and 18 lead changes.

"We just couldn't stop them early on. Good thing, we held our own in the high-scoring game," said Reyes. (SB)

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