Texters finish off SMB, clinch Philippine Cup
Talk 'N Text's vaunted offense couldn’t have clicked at a better rtime.
Playing like a well-oiled machine and sustaining their brilliance on the offensive end all-game long, the Tropang Texters finally finished off the San Miguel Beermen, 95-82, to regain the PBA Philippine Cup title before an animated crowd of 15,756 at the Araneta Coliseum Friday night.
Jimmy Alapag anchored the Tropang Texters' big scoring run in the final period of Game 6 to quash the last of several furious comebacks by the Beermen and wrap up the best-of-seven series, 4-2.
Alapag, named co-Finals MVP by the PBA Press Corps together with Jason Castro, finished with a double-double of 15 points and 10 assists, just a notch behind the 17 of Ryan Reyes, who showed the way for the team.
Ali Peek also had 15 points, Harvey Carey 13, Ranideld De Ocampo 12, while Kelly Williams came through with a brilliant all-around game of 10 points, eight rebounds and four steals in a balanced scoring parade for the Tropang Texters.
The championship is the third for the Talk 'N Text franchise since acquiring the team in 1996, and the sixth overall for coach Chot Reyes, who now joins Tommy Manotoc at fifth place in the all-time winners' list.
Reyes also steered Talk 'N Text to the 2008-09 All-Filipino championship during his first season with the telecommunication franchise.
As the celebration began, Reyes went up to where team owner Manny V. Pangilinan was seated behind the team bench to personally congratulate him.
"This series is for Allan Reyes," said the Talk 'N Text coach, obviously referring to the late brother of point guard Ryan Reyes, who died in a vehicular accident in the U.S. during the heat of the best-of-seven title series.
Ryan missed Game 3 of the Finals to attend his brother’s burial.
"But we'd also like to congratulate San Miguel for giving us a good fight," said the Tropang Texters mentor.
The championship also erased the stigma of the team's disappointing season a year ago, one which saw the Tropang Texters fail to win a title after getting eliminated twice in the playoffs despite being overwhelming favorites – including the walkout-marred best-of-five quarterfinals series with Ginebra.
For the Beermen, there would be no championship for coach Ato Agustin right on his rookie season, no championship for Jay Washington in his first Finals encounter against the team that traded him three years ago, and no additional championship for veteran Olsen Racela right on his final playing year after 18 seasons in the league.
Only Washington carried the fight for San Miguel, leading the team with 29 points and 18 rebounds, as the rest of the Beermen failed to give support to their main man.
Dondon Hontiveros had 11 points and Arwind Santos 10, but only two of those came in the first three quarters of the deciding game.
This series is for Allan Reyes. But we also like to congratulate San Miguel for giving us a good fight.
The Beermen trailed by as many as 14 in the first half, but battled their way back and even grabbed the lead at 57-55 on two free throws by Washington with 6:52 to play in the third period.
But the Tropang Texters went on a 14-5 tear to take a 69-62 lead with them entering the finals quarter.
San Miguel last closed in at 76-71 on a three-pointer by Washington, but Alapag led the Texters on a 9-0 spurt to pull away again at 85-71. – JVP, KY, GMANews.TV
Talk 'N Text 95 - Reyes 17, Alapag 15, Peek 15, Carey 13, De Ocampo 12, Williams 10, Castro 7, Fonacier 6, Dillinger 0, Aban 0.
San Miguel Beer - Washington 29, Hontiveros 11, Santos 10, Ildefonso 10, Miranda 9, Cabagnot 9, Salvacion 2, Racela 1, Pena 1, Yeo 0, Artadi 0, Pennisi 0.
Quarter scores: 32-22, 51-47, 69-62, 95-82.