The respective streaks continued after the game between Talk N’ Text and San Miguel Beer, as the Tropang Texters have now dropped their last four games, while the Beermen have won seven in a row. Unfortunately for Talk N’ Text, this brings their record to 3-5 (8th place), and puts them in danger of possibly missing a playoff berth if their struggles continue.
Talk N’ Text actually led for almost the entire first half, even taking a 17-point lead early in the 2nd quarter (32-15), but the Beermen were eventually able to close the gap and head into the 3rd quarter tied at 45-45. From there, it was clear that the game plan of both teams would be almost polar opposites of one another. Talk N’ Text kept their offense mostly on the perimeter, while San Miguel Beer focused on scoring inside the paint.
I already mentioned in my pregame article that this would probably happen, since the Tropang Texters do have the smaller roster, and it did. They were unable to keep up with the inside scoring of the Beermen, but at least they won the battle on the 3-point line:
|TEAM||2pt FGs||3pt FGs||Tot FGs||FTs|
In all actuality though, this was a closely contested game. Besides the large disparity between the inside and outside scoring of both teams, Talk N’ Text was able to keep in step with the Beermen throughout almost every other aspect of the game. They didn’t allow themselves to get out-rebounded, they finally fixed their passing game, and their bench gave good production as well. It was just the minor details that tipped the scales slightly in favor of San Miguel Beer. For me in particular, it was the turnovers and points in the paint.
First of all, at least the Tropang Texters were able to dish out 19 assists, which was a big improvement from their numbers during the past 3 games. However, they also committed 15 turnovers, compared to 20 assists and just 10 turnovers by the Beermen. Yes, they were finally able to share the ball better in this contest, but they’re still one of the teams that commits the most turnovers in the PBA. Extra possessions for opponents will definitely make it more difficult to get wins (especially in this case where they only lost by 5 points).
The other thing is that in this game, the weakness of Talk N’ Text in the middle was clearly exposed by San Miguel Beer. The Tropang Texters only managed to score 24 points inside the paint, while the Beermen scored 42. It was unfortunate that Ranidel De Ocampo (scored only 8pts in 20mins) got into early foul trouble (four fouls in the first half), since he was the missing pieces on offense for Talk N’ Text. Even then, this goes back to the fact that the bigmen of Talk N’ Text aren’t really your conventional low post scorers and rim protectors. Even their import Steffphon Pettigrew doesn’t really play like your traditional forward or center. With guards like Jayson Castro and Sam Daghles holding down the fort on the perimeter play, someone on the Tropang Texters has to give them support on the inside.
To end at least on a positive note, the Tropang Texters can be thankful that Larry Fonacier finally broke out of his recent shooting slump in this game. Prior to this contest, Fonacier had only broken into double-digit scoring in 1 out of the 7 games of Talk N’ Text this conference. Against the Beermen, Fonacier managed to score 11 points, while going 3/5 from beyond the arc. In their games to come, hopefully he can continue his good shooting and be an added weapon on the perimeter for the Tropang Texters.
Featured Image Credit: philippinesports.net & Glenn Michael Tan