The Tropang Texters reasserted their mastery over Rain or Shine 105-82 to complete a four-game sweep in their best-of-seven Finals series Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. VIDEO BY NOY MORCOSO OF INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines – Talk ‘N Text pulled off what hasn’t been done in a long time: clinch a third straight PBA Philippine Cup championship.
The Tropang Texters reasserted their mastery over Rain or Shine 105-82 to complete a four-game sweep in their best-of-seven Finals series Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“This championship means a lot to me, mainly because I’ve been away for so long,” said TNT head coach Norman Black, who racked up his 11th PBA championship.
“The winning formula is that they execute the game plan,” added Black.
Ranidel de Ocampo, who was named the Papa John’s Pizza-PBA Press Corps Finals MVP, saved his best game for last with 19 points on five-of-seven shooting from long range to go along with 10 rebounds and seven assists.
It was the first Finals sweep since Purefoods blanked Alaska back in the 2009-10 Philippine Cup and also the first to complete a three-peat in the all-Filipino conference since the Crispa Redmanizers pulled it off back in the early ‘80s.
TNT’s offense clicked but it was at the defensive end where it all started.
“That’s always been my philosophy, defense wins championships,” Black said.
Rain or Shine stuck through despite being down early by as much as 16.
Chris Tiu pulled the Elasto Painters to within two 63-65 in the closing minutes of the third quarter and seemed as if Rain or Shine was going to go all the way and take control of the game.
But Talk ‘N Text, which had an efficient game from start to finish, finishing with league conference-highs of 34 assists and 14 three-pointers, just don’t want to give Rain or Shine any breathing room.
Kelly Williams added 15 points and 11 rebounds, including a follow-up slam, sealing Talk ‘N Text’s sixth title overall, in style 100-78 with 2:35 left.
Jared Dillinger also played a key game with 14 points, 12 in the second half.
Dillinger sank a huge three to end the third quarter to stop Rain or Shine’s surge.
Dillinger wasn’t done yet. He hit three more triples in the fourth quarter to spark TNT’s charge, his last trey pushed the lead back to 12, 83-71, with 6:40 left.
The Texters had six players in double-figure scoring with Ali Peek contributing 15 points while Larry Fonacier and Jimmy Alapag had 13 and 10 points respectively.
“That’s the thing about this team, you’ll never know who’s going to be the best player,” added Black.
The Texters banked on a 25-11 run to finish off the Painters, who were led by Larry Rodriguez’s 16 points.
TNT had an almost flawless first half with 19 assists on 22 field goals and just one turnover.