Texters forge Game 5 duel
Banal quits as Alaska coachBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Keeping its focus solely on the game, Talk ‘N Text was back to what it does best: blow foes off the court.
With a sustained effort on both ends from start to finish, the Tropang Texters left little doubt in taking their best-of-five Final Four PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs with Barako Bull to a decider with a 108-90 ripping of the Energy last night.
The victory exposed all the bad spots in Gabriel Freeman and all the best in the deep, talent-rich roster of the Texters as Talk ‘N Text not only tied the series, 2-2, but also put a huge dent on the psyche of the Energy for tomorrow’s Game 5.
Ranidel De Ocampo, who averaged just three points in the two Talk ‘N Text losses, was the big difference for the Texters last night, dropping 16 of his 23 points in the breakaway first half that had the defending champions in command the rest of the way.
“I thought we did a great job today on just playing TNT basketball, and that’s what important,” Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes said. “All we did was tie the series.”
Four others scored in twin digits for the Texters, with Donnell Harvey shooting all of his 12 points in the first half, not getting the minutes in the final two periods as a result of Talk ‘N Text’s dominance.
Meanwhile, Alaska will be handled by yet another new coach in the PBA Governors’ Cup after Joel Banal, the Aces’ mentor in the last two tournaments, stepped down as head coach after two horrible conferences.
In today’s lone match, B-Meg tries to put sister team Barangay Ginebra away again when they clash in Game 4 of their Final Four series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
TALK ‘N TEXT 108—De Ocampo 23, Harvey 12, Dillinger 12, Castro 12, Williams 11, Peek 8, Gamalinda 7, Fonacier 7, Aguilar 4, Carey 4, Raymundo 2, Reyes 2, Alvarez 2, Alapag 2.
BARAKO 90—Seigle 20, Miller 10, Allado 10, Pennisi 9, Aquino 7, Najorda 7, Salvador 7, Tubid 7, Freeman 6, Gatumbato 5, Arboleda 2, Sorongon 0, Cervantes 0, Weinstein 0, Pena 0.
Quarters: 30-23, 55-42, 89-64, 108-90