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Talk 'N Text gets past Boosters to take opener.

Coach Norman Black could afford to make fun of the numbers of his import, NBA veteran Jerome Jordan, mainly because his Talk 'N Text crew came out on the winning of a great struggle against Petron Blaze last night.

"I could get that in four minutes (when I was playing)," Black said, referring to the paltry five rebounds that the 7-foot Jordan had in a 100-93 victory over the Boosters that gave the Tropang Texters a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three PBA Commissioner's Cup quarterfinal series at the Araneta Coliseum.

"Unless I'm reading it wrong or I'm blind," Black said of Jordan's rebound total.

"We were very fortunate that our second team stepped up and helped us," Black said, switching to a serious tone. "But you can't expect the locals to come out and carry us every night.

"I just need to get the best out of him, push the right buttons," he continued when asked if they had a replacement in mind. "I think it's too late in the tournament to find a replacement." Jordan was a shade of the man that dominated Barangay Ginebra and Vernon Macklin last week, shooting just 11 points.

Talk 'N Text, which is shooting to make the semifinals for the ninth straight conference, got 22 points from Ranidel de Ocampo and 16 from Ryan Reyes, including two critical three-pointers in the stretch that snuffed the fight out of the Boosters.

Reyes drained his third triple with 4:23 left that made it 92-79 before sealing the deal with another with 26.4 seconds remaining for 98-90.

Henry Sims led the Boosters with 22 points and 21 rebounds and Marcio Lassiter added 17 but Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot were both down to the minimum by the Talk 'N Text defense.

Also taking a 1-0 lead and completing a night of reversals was Meralco, who again got the goods from import Eric Dawson in the stretch of an 88-85 win over San Mig Coffee.

The Bolts, the sixth seeds here, got 25 points and 18 rebounds from Dawson and 13 points each from Ronjay Biuenafe and Sunday Salvacion as they pushed the No. 3 Mixers to the wall.

Both the Texters and the Bolts can wrap things up with their respective Game 2s tomorrow also at the Big Dome in Cubao.

Meralco actually put itself in the very same position it was last year, when the Bolts also took Game 1 of their quarterfinal series against the eventual champion Mixers.

And this season, coach Ryan Gregorio swears that they know what to do.

"We (also) won Game 1 with Earl Barron, and I thought we celebrated early," Gregorio said, referring to a 103-81 win they had over the Mixers before losing the next two games by 10 each.

"Now we know better," Gregorio said. "There's no reason to celebrate." Meanwhile, Alaska, the top seed, and Rain or Shine, ranked second, gun for wins that would put them in the Final Four today when they clash with Air21 and Barangay Ginebra, respectively.

Both games are scheduled at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

Mark Caguioa remains to be doubtful for the Gin Kings, who have enlisted the services of Josh Urbiztondo following a trade with Barako Bull earlier in the week. Ginebra gave up rookie Keith Jensen and a second round pick in the 2015 Rookie Draft.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Apr 20, 2013
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