RED-HOT TNT IMPORT BURIES EXPRESS
MANILA, September 11, 2003 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran - Damien Cantrell came up with a monster performance with 52 points, including a three-pointer atop the key in the closing seconds, as Talk N Text nipped FedEx, 94-91, in the Samsung PBA Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena last night.
Cantrell went 5-of-11 from the three-point area, 15-of-23 from the two-point zone and 7-of-9 at the stripe for the highest individual output in the league since Askia Jonesí 60 for Shell in a 111-88 rout of Sta. Lucia on Nov. 4, 2001 during the Governors Cup eliminations.
And the former University of California Don put a fitting end to his stirring performance with the decisive trey infront of FedExís import Terrence Shannon that decided the outcome of the game with 12.8 seconds left to play.
The Phone Pals made a followup on their 101-89 victory over the Red Bull Barako Thunder last Friday while playing under yet another new interim coach in Virgil Villavicencio, backstopped by American consultant Maz Trakh.
"It feels great and I have to thank the management, the coaching staff and the players because this win is a product of a team effort, not mine," said Villavicencio shortly after his first game since his stint as head coach of Wilkins in the PBL in 1999.
The former La Salle mentor said their foreign consultant took care of their offense but he called the last play that had Cantrell breaking a 91-all deadlock.
"I wanted the ball in Cantrellís hands. I told him to take the shot in the last five seconds (of their shotclock)," said Villavicencio.
Shannon dished out a near-triple double job with 28 points, nine rebounds and seven assists but committed crucial errors that hastened their downfall. The Express suffered their second loss in three starts.
The Phone Pals made a decisive six-to-nothing run in the stretch where Shannon had his lapses, taking a 91-89 lead with 2:11 left to play.
Barangay Ginebra rallied from 10 points down at the end of the third quarter as it repulsed Red Bull Barako, 99-96, for a third straight win in the nightcap.
After Shannon scored on a drive and Asi Taulava muffed a shot in the ensuing plays, FedEx had a chance to regain the lead but John Ferriols, who had a decent game with 14 points and seven rebounds, misfired a baby hook.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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