MANILA, OCTOBER 27, 2003 (MALAYA) Talk N' Text overcame gritty Barangay Ginebra 97-95 last night to finally snap out of a four-game slide in the Samsung PBA Reinforced Copnference at the Araneta Coliseum.

In a tight finish to a gripping contest that would have gone either way, the Phone Pals could only sigh in relief as Mark Caguioa missed a potential equalizer or, at most, a game-winner.

"Intensity sa depensa ang naging key sa panalo," said Vic Pablo, the man who could have sealed the game outright for Talk N' Text had he drained the shot he was making all night long.

The win jacked Talk N' Text's record to 7-5, good for third in Group B. It also was the first win head coach Joel Banal pulled off since returning from the UAAP championships, where he failed to steer his Ateneo Blue Eagles past Far Eastern U.

Ginebra, which has also made it to the quarterfinals, went down to 6-6.

It was the first loss absorbed by import Rosell Ellis after guiding the Kings to two straight wins since coming in, a mini-run that started with a win against the same team last Oct. 15.

Damien Cantrell led Talk N' Text with 36 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and four steals with Pablo adding 24 points. Asi Taulava was limited to only 13 points but had a team-high 15 boards.

Ellis had 29 points, 16 rebounds and eight feeds for Ginebra with Eric Menk chipping in 24 markers and nine boards.

Talk N' Text's win seemed inevitable after the ball got to Pablo's hands in the Phone Pals' final play. But he failed to deliver, giving Ginebra all of 14 seconds to tie.

But the Gin Kings could not map out a decent play, having been left with no more timeout to call.

The scores:

Talk N' Text 97 - Cantrell 36, Pablo 24, Taulava 13, Alapag 8, Carey 6, Fran 6, Ravena 4, Locsin 0, Telan 0, Manalo 0, Belano 0.

Ginebra 95 - Ellis 29, Menk 24, Adducul 11, Caguioa 10, Limpot 9, David 8, Crisano 4, Salvacion 0, Dimaunahan 0, Johnson 0.

Quarterscores: 26-24; 44-51; 72-68; 97-95.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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