Texters down Aces, grab lead
With practically its entire high-profile lineup clicking, Talk ‘N Text bounced back to reclaim command of its Final Four series with Alaska and move within a win of a crack at a record third straight PBA Philippine Cup title.
Seven players, led by Ryan Reyes’ 15 points in 19 minutes off the bench, scored in twin digits for the Tropang Texters in a 99-95 decision of the Aces at Mall of Asia Arena last night as Talk ‘N Text took a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven series.
“I thought my guys bounced back from a poor performance in Game 4,” coach Norman Black said. “This is the first time both teams concentrated on basketball and didn’t worry about the referees too much.”
The Texters trailed 2-10 early in the first before tying it up at 20 heading into the second where they took command for good.
Ranidel de Ocampo scored 11 points in a 35-point second period for the Texters, who are seeking to become the first team in 30 years to win the all-Filipino title for three straight seasons.
The series resumes Jan. 4 at Cuneta Astrodome also in Pasay, and by that time, the Texters and the Aces would know who the other team in the Finals would be with Rain or Shine going for the jugular against San Mig Coffee a day earlier.
The Elasto Painters still lead their series at 3-2 despite being bamboozled on Saturday by the Mixers.
Calvin Abueva scored 19 points and had 11 rebounds but had the most crucial error for the Aces with eight seconds remaining when he dribbled off his left knee while going for a drive and the Texters ahead by just 98-95.
Cyrus Baguio tossed in 14 and Gabby Espinas had 13 as the Aces also had six players tossing in 10 or better in what could be the best game of the series thus far.
TALK N’ TEXT 99— Reyes 15, De Ocampo 13, Fonacier 12, Dillinger 11, Alapag 11, Williams 10, Carey 10, Castro 9, Peek 8, Raymundo 0, Aban 0.
ALASKA 95—Abueva 19, Baguio 14, Espinas 13, Baracael 12, Jazul 11, Thoss 10, Casio 8, Hontiveros 6, Belasco 2, Reyes 0, Dela Cruz 0.
Quarters: 20-20, 55-43, 79-71, 99-95