MANILA – Talk ‘N Text secured the top seed in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals after beating NorthPort, 102-92, on Wednesday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The Tropang Giga bounced back from a slow start, something rookie Mikey Williams called a “punch in the mouth” after the game, and slowly took down the Batang Pier from there.
“We didn’t come out as good as we should have. We came out real flat, and they kind of punched us in the mouth. And then from there, we started to follow the energy, and then we found a way to get it done,” said Williams, who led TNT with 29 points, three rebounds, and five assists.
Coach Chot Reyes said NorthPort could have easily finished the job if Greg Slaughter and Sean Anthony played.
“I thought we caught a break today because NorthPort was playing very very good basketball, but the fact that Greg and even Sean Anthony were out tonight, I thought that was big for us. It kind of cushioned our not having Glenn Khobuntin as well, so I think that was a big factor,” Reyes said.
Kib Montalbo added 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting including 4-for-6 from long range, five rebounds, and three assists for the Tropang Giga, who are now at 9-1 in the standings with their third straight win.
Aside from taking the top seed, they also secured a twice-to-beat advantage in the next round, which means they will only need one win to enter the semifinals.
Paolo Taha made 20 points on 6-for-7 shooting and one rebound for NorthPort, which saw its own three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 4-4. (PNA)