(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. -- Rain or Shine vs. Phoenix
6:45 p.m. -- San Miguel vs. Ginebra
ANGELES CITY -- NLEX finally ended a long losing spell against suster team Talk N Text, posting a 110-98 win at the Angeles University gym here Saturday.
Carlo Lastimosa scored seven of his team-hgih 22 points to power NLEX to only its second win in seven matches.
Sean Anthony added 13 points and Kevin Alas contributed 12 points for NLEX.
Down by one 93-94 with seven minutes left , NLEX outscored Talk N Text, 17-4, the rest of the way to turn the game around and win pulling away.
The beginning of the end for the Tropang Texters came when they were whistled for a technical foul for fielding in only four players.
Garvo Lanete nailed the technicaa free throw to tie the score at 94-all.
Bradwyn Guinto hit an undergoal layup and Lastimosa added four pressure-packed free throws to make it 100-96 for NLEX.
Jason Castro carried the fight for the Tropang Texters with 17 markers, followed by Mo Tautuaa with 15.
Action resumes today at he Araneta Coliseum with league-leading San Miguel Beer taking on sister team Barangay Ginebra in the featured game at 6:45 p.m..
The Beermen are looking for their sixth straight win that will strengthen their hold of the top spot while keeping themselves two games ahead of everybody, including Rain or Shine.
The two-time defending champions are going into the game with much momentum generated from their last Friday’s 118-93 romp over Blackwater in a game they reduced to mere workout in preparation for their remaining games, including against the Gin Kings today.
“It’s a good start to the year,” uttered SMB coach Leo Austria after that lopsided win over the Elite where June Mar Fajardo scored 25 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
That the Beermen managed to clinch the win with plenty to spare could be attributed to the team’s mindset that no team really can be taken for granted.
It was a kind of thought that was rewarding.
“The players were so focused. It was a blessing in disguise that we couldn’t take Blackwater for granted,” added Austria.
Austria said the Beermen have learnt a lesson from the past and that they are now trying to reach their peak in time in their bid to retain the title they won last season via historic rise from 0-3 down in the best-of-seven series.
Three other Beermen -- Gabby Espinas, Alex Cabagnot, and Marcio Lassiter -- scored in double-figures as they sent the Elite reeling to their fourth loss in eight outings.
NLEX (110) -- Lastimosa 22, Anthony 13, Alas 12, Camson 12, Guinto 11, J. Villanueva 7, E. Villanueva 7, Rios 6, Baracael 5, Lanete 4, Taulava 3, Monfort 3, Khobuntin 3, Gotladera 2.
Talk N Text ( 98) -- Castro 17, Tautuaa 15, Rosales 15, Fonacier 9, Reyes 7, Rosario 7, De Ocampo 7, Williams 6, Rosser 6, Carey 5, Seigle 4, Golla 0, Pogoy 0, Tamsi 0.
Quarterscores: 24-26, 52-52, 85-81, 110-98