Cebuano rookie shines in TnT debut
Lemuel Maglinte (The Philippine Star) - November 18, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU , Philippines   â€“ Eliud Poligrates couldn’t have chosen a better stage to launch his pro career.

Playing before fellow Cebuanos, Poligrates pumped in nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter as Talk ‘N Text turned back Meralco, 89-80, in a rare PBA opening game at the Cebu City Coliseum here yesterday.

Poligrates, the 27th overall pick in the recent Rookie Draft, sparked a big 10-0 run in the last period as the Tropang Texters turned a 64-66 deficit into an eight-point lead en route to victory in the PLDT myDSL PBA Phillipine Cup.

Amid the crowd cheers, the Camotes Island-native put his shooting skills on display, burying a three-pointer against Meralco hotshot Gary David and giving the Tropang Texters an 81-70 lead with five minutes left in the contest.

It was cruise control from there as TnT simply traded baskets with Meralco, which failed to come up with a strong finishing kick.

Gilas Pilipinas mainstay Jayson Castro led the way with 20 points, Noy Baclao tallied 14 points while the comebacking Kelly Williams added 10 points for the defending champion Talk ‘N Text.

David led the Bolts with a game-high 26 points while Jared Dillinger added 11 points against his former team and Cliff Hodge chipped in nine points.

The two teams practically played on even terms in the first half that ended at 42-all. But David hit six straight points and the Bolts surged ahead at 57-52 halfway through the third period.

But the Tropang Texters kept the game close before Williams forced his way inside and scored four points to open the fourth quarter before Poligrates joined the fray.

Baclao’s two free throws in the last 42 seconds followed by Castro’s huge block off David sealed the victory for the Tropang Texters.

BUT DAVID BUT THE TROPANG TEXTERS CAMOTES ISLAND CEBU CITY COLISEUM CLIFF HODGE ELIUD POLIGRATES MERALCO N TEXT POINTS POLIGRATES TROPANG TEXTERS
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