TNT withstands late NLEX run to complete quarterfinal cast

By Kevin Estrada

PASAY--Talk 'n Text took control in the last four minutes of the game and repulsed NLEX's rally with a 90-88 win on Saturday as the PBA Philippine Cup concluded its first phase of the Quarterfinals at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Rookie Troy Rosario paced the Tropang Texters with 20 points, while Danny Seigle with 17 points off the bench and Jayson Castro and Larry Fonacier each chipped in 10 markers as they joined hands in breaking the 80-all deadlock in the last four minutes of the game for the right to face Rain Or shine in the knockout quarterfinals on Monday.

Asi Taulava poured 20 points in a losing effort for the Road Warriors, while Sean Anthony tallied a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds but missed a equalizing bank attempt to force overtime at the buzzer.

Even though having the twice-to-win disadvantage, It was NLEX who started the game well, breaking a 7-all deadlock with a 9-0 run off Taulava, Mark Borboran and Jonas Villanueva on their way to a 21-11 lead at the end of the opening period.

TNT rallied back in the second quarter after unleashing their 7-0 run of their own through Ryan Reyes and Kelly Williams to even the game at 36 a piece heading into the halftime break.

Third quarter was a see-saw affair with both teams never led by more than five until the final minute, when Garvo Lanete drilled two three pointers in the last 43 seconds to break a 61-all tie to give NLEX a 67-61 advantage heading into the final 12 minutes.

However, TNT made sure its twice-to-beat edge count with Rosario, Seigle, Fonacier, and Castro coming to life in the fourth quarter, with the rookie drilling a huge triple to put the Texters ahead 88-81 with 2:26 to go.

But the Texters need to quash a late game comeback by the Road Warriors at the end, with Anthony saw his bank attempt at the buzzer just clanking the rim.

Box Scores:

Talk 'n Text 90-Rosario 20, Seigle 17, R. Reyes 12, Castro 10, Fonacier 10, Williams 9, Miranda 3, Tautuaa 3, Aban 2, Carey 2, Rosser 0, J. Reyes 0

NLEX 88-Taulava 22, Anthony 17, J. Villanueva 13, Lanete 9, Alas 7, Borboran 7, Khobuntin 7, Cardona 5, Enciso 1, Camson 0, Reyes 0, E. Villanueva 0

Quarterscores: 11-21, 36-36, 61-67, 90-88

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