IN his first game back as coach of Talk N Text in the PBA, Chot Reyes was visibly a happy man.
Reyes and the Tropang Texters leaned on their endgame poise– and some tough defense — to eke out a thrilling 86-79 win over Terrafirma Dyip in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Despite a late scare, Reyes heaved a sigh of relief after the game.
“We’ve just taken our first step as a team today. We’re really (starting) from scratch again,” said Reyes, a five-time “Coach of the Year” who called the shots for Talk N Text for the first time since 2012.
“This is really our first experience, coming together to play as a team,” added Reyes. “So the little things, amuyan, chemistry, kindatan sa loob, parang malayo pa kami roon. We still have a lot to learn,” he added.
Reyes said the presence of Jayson Castro, Ryan Reyes and Kelly Williams, all holdovers from Reyes’ days with Talk N Text helped a lot.
Castro came off the bench to score a team-high 17 points, while Troy Rosario finished with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Second-year center JP Erram also stood out for Talk N Text as he finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Erram struck hard3st when the Tropang Texters held off the Dyip’s determined rally.
Roger Pogoy was the only other TNT player in double digits with 10.
Aldrech Ramos carried the fight for Terrafirma with 17 points.
Actually, Terrafirma fell behind by as much as 18 points, 48-66 in the third period.
But the Dyip sprang a surprise when they came charging back behind the efforts of Philip Cahilig, Rashawn McCarthy and Juami Tiongson to threaten at 79-84, with still 2:10 left in the game.
Talk N Text, however, had the answer in the endgame.
“I thought Terrafirma did a good job in beating us in the effort department, especially in the fourth quarter,” said Reyes.
The win also spoiled the dubut of Joshua Munzon, who finished with six points for Terrafirma.
James Laput was also limited to only six points.
Meanwhile, Christian Standhardinger makes his Barangay Ginebra debut as the Kings open their title-retention campaign against NLEX Road Warriors in the second game of a triple header at Ynares Sports Arena.
The 6-8 Fil-German was acquired by Ginebra in a trade with NorthPort Batang Pier in exchange for fellow big man Greg Slaughter
Talk N Text (86) — Castro 17, Erram 15, Rosario 14, Pogoy 10, Marcelo 9, Williams 7, Khobuntin 6, Reyes 5, Montalbo 3, Exciminiano 0, Heruela 0, Alejandro 0, Washington 0, Javier 0, Mendoza 0.
Terrafirma (79) — Ramos 17, McCarthy 13, Cahilig 12, Tiongson 10, Adams 7, Laput 6, Munzon 6, Alolino 2, Gabayni 2, Rosser 2, Balagasay 2, Calvo 0, Camson 0, Batiller 0, Celda 0.
Quarterscores: 17-20, 45-33, 71-59, 86-79.
(Ynares Sports Arena)
2 p.m. — San Miguel vs. Meralco
4:35 p.m.– NLEX vs. Barangay Ginebra
7 p.m. — Blackwater vs. Rain or Shine