Texters forge finals vs B-MegBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
TALK ‘N TEXT’s veterans can deliver as well.
Ranidel de Ocampo and Jimmy Alapag, silent for most of last night, drilled the baskets that mattered when the outcome was in the balance as the Tropang Texters tripped Barako Bull, 101-90, to enter the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
De Ocampo and Alapag combined for 11 critical points in the stretch that held off the Energy as the rubber match of this best-of-five series went down the wire.
The Texters advanced against the B-Meg Llamados, who made the best-of-seven title series on Tuesday after a 108-84 win over Barangay Ginebra and a 3-1 triumph.
“In the end, it’s about making the shots that matter. Jimmy’s triple and Ranidel’s four-point play. That’s how it is,” coach Chot Reyes, who will make the 15th title series appearance of his career, said.
“We had no illusions about the other team. We knew they were going to be very good,” Reyes said. “In the finals (against B-Meg), it will be that way again.”
The only two times in this series that the results weren’t blowouts were games won by the Energy, as their veterans carried the fight in the stretch.
It was De Ocampo and Alapag’s turn last night for the Texters, whose first two wins in the series were by an average of 23 points.
Alapag first drained a triple from close to 30 feet, and after the Energy had come to within four points heading into the final three minutes, De Ocampo completed a rare four-point play that kept the Texters’ heads above water, 96-88.
The reigning MVP Alapag then had an unmolested lay-up and De Ocampo sewed it all up for the Texters with two free throws with 60 seconds remaining for a 100-90 lead.
Donnell Harvey led the Texters with 29 points, 14 rebounds and three steals and De Ocampo finished with 18 that went with seven boards.
Reyes said Alapag shouldn’t have even played. Alapag’s father is battling cancer and his brother just suffered a stroke a day before the series started.
TALK N’ TEXT 101—Harvey 29, De Ocampo 18, Dillinger 14, Castro 14, Williams 9, Peek 7, Alapag 6, Fonacier 3, Reyes 1, Alvarez 0.
BARAKO 90—Freeman 22, Seigle 21, Tubid 18, Allado 12, Miller 6, Salvador 4, Najorda 3, Arboleda 2, Pena 2, Weinstein 0, Pennisi 0.
Quarters: 25-27, 56-47, 77-74, 101-90