Jimmy Alapag played big in his return from a one-game layoff, enduring a pulled hamstring as he helped Talk n Text upend Purefoods, 101-98, for solo third place in the KFC PBA Philippine Cup at the Xavier University Gym in Cagayan de Oro Saturday night.

Macmac Cardona, the league scoring leader with an average of 21 points an outing, struggled for eight points but had a crucial basket as the Tropang Texters nailed a ninth win against five losses.

The Giants engaged the Texters in a fierce duel but yielded the game as they went scoreless in the final minute of play.

James Yap, KG Canaleta and Kerby Raymundo had a missed attempt each and the Giants eventually lost the game on an inbound error by Raymundo with the team down by three with two seconds to go in the contest.

Purefoods suffered a first loss to Talk n Text in two years and slid to fifth place with an 8-6 card in this all-Filipino tourney.

Yap poured in a season-high 28 points that went to naught in this contest serving as the latest stop of the Phoenix Fuel PBA on Tour.

Cardona bled for eight points but he knocked in the game’s biggest shot, making it 99-98 with 45.3 ticks left.

Three missed free throws by Alapag gave the Giants an opportunity to steal the game but Canaleta misfired a three-pointer then Raymundo bungled a follow-up shot.

It was a duel between the league’s best offensive team (Talk n Text) and best defensive team (Purefoods) marred by technical infractions by Yap and Raymundo.

Jason Castro took charge for the Texters as they came through with a decisive run in the third quarter, storming ahead, 71-66, going into the payoff period.

With better rebounding and better shooting earlier, the Giants enjoyed eight-point spreads in the second quarter and sat on a 45-39 cushion at halftime.

They took the early initiative but yielded the lead, 24-27, at the close of the opening period on a rare four-point play by Jimmy Alapag off Roger Yap.

The scores:

TALK ’N TEXT 101—Alapag 17, Carey 15, R. De Ocampo 14, Y. De Ocampo 13, Escobal 11, Cardona 8, Ritualo 8, Peek 7, Castro 6, Isip 2, Belasco 0.

PUREFOODS 98—J. Yap 28, Raymundo 16, Canaleta 12, Pingris 10, Artadi 8, Maierhofer 8, Reavis 7, R. Yap 5, Allado 4, Salvador 0.

Quarters: 27-24, 39-45, 71-66, 101-98

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