Willie Miller and Joe Devance muffed a couple of charities each in the last 14 seconds of the ballgame as the Aces was held scoreless over the last 2:36 after coming back from a 63-76 deficit and forcing several ties, the last at 89-all.
“I felt I let the country down in Japan, so back then I wanted to take a break in coaching,”
Reyes related. “So for me, this is validation I made the right decvision and it reinforces my love of the game, what I do in my profession. Somewhat this erases the pain of that Tokushima debacle.”
Reyes thus became the first coach in league history to steer three different teams to the All-Filipino crown, after winning earlier in his career with Purefoods and Coca-Cola.
Mark Cardona, adjudged the Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP), led all scorers with 23 points on 8-of18 shooting from the floor. Jason Castro had a great all-around game, contributing 19 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.
“I thought before the game that If we get solid games from Jason and Yancy (de Ocampo), we have great chances of winning,” said Reyes. “We didn't get much from Yancy, but Jason is a big-game player.”
Ranidel de Ocampo had 12 points and 11 boards and Jimmy Alapag and Ali Peek 10 points each for the Tropang Texters.
Helping Cardona concentrate on the game was the fact Reyes forwarded him a text by Alaska coach Tim Cone apologizing for statements he made regarding the player's earlier taunts against the Aces.
“Kinamayan ko din after the game,” said Cardona, who said he looked at Cone's words as a form of prod.
“Mas na-motivate pa nga ako,” he said, before adding with a mischievous look: “Nagpapansin lang naman ako, e. Pinansin naman ako ni Tim Cone.”
Willie Miller led the Aces with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists, but shot only 3-of-8 from the line. Reynel Hugnatan added 17, Joe Devance 14 points and 14 boards, and LA Tenorio and Larry Fonacier 10 each.
Talk ‘N Text 93 - Cardona 23, Castro 19, de Ocampo R. 12, Alapag 10, Peek 10, Ritualo 9, Carey 7, de Ocampo 2, Dillinger 1, Aljamal 0.
Alaska 89 - Miller 22, Hugnatan 17, Devance 14, Tenorio 10, Fonacier 10, Ferriols 6, Thoss 4, dela Cruz 4, Cariaso 2.
Quarters: 20-23, 47-41, 73-63, 93-89.
Mark Cardona scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half and Jimmy Alapag had 21 points and 6 assists as the Tropang Texters tied the series at 3-all.
“We challenged Ali before the game,” related TNT coach Chot Reyes. “(Sonny) Thoss was kicking his behind the whole series and we asked him to meet the challenge.
“He did. He came up strong, he came up big.”
“Ali’s capable of coming up with big games like tonight,” said Alaska coach Tim Cone. “I’ve coached him for a number of years and when he’s ripe he can always come up big. We actually expected him to explode earlier in the series, but tonight he got into his rhythm and they stuck with him.”
Talk 'N text erected the biggest lead of the game at 19 points, 78-59, but the Aces fought back with a 17-4 run bridging the end of the 3rd and start of the fourth to get within six, 76-82. The Tropang Texters though would hang on and never relinquish the lead.
Ranidel de Ocampo added 10 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists and Harvey Carey contributed 10 points and 11 boards for Talk 'N Text.
2-time MVP and reigning Best Player of the Conference Willie Miller led Alaska with 22 points and 7 assists. Joe Devance added 18, Anthony dela Cruz 15 and Joachim 'Sonny' Thoss 13 points for the Aces.
The deciding Game 7 will be played on Wednesday, 7pm at the Araneta Coliseum.
Talk n Text 99 - Cardona 23, Alapag 21, Peek 17,de Ocampo 10, Carey 10, Dillinger 9, Ritualo8, Castro1, de Ocampo Y.0.
Alaska 94 - Miller 22, De Vance 18,Dela Cruz 15, Thoss 13,Fonacier 8, Hugnatan 7, Ferriols 7, Tenorio 4.
Quarters: 30-26, 52-45, 78-65, 99-94
Renren Ritualo missed a wide-open three-pointer and Harvey Carey missed a putback in the ensuing possession as the Aces moved a win away from their 13th PBA title.
"We're lucky Willie made the shot," said Cone, who picked up his 600th win. "We would have been crushed had he missed, and he would have heard it from everybody."
"Was it designed for him to take a three-point shot? Frankly, no. In fact I was surprised he took it," Cone said. "But he felt the rhythm and so he took the shot and made it. That's the sign of a great player."
"Ang instruction talaga mag-create ako. Pero nag-sag si (Jared) Dillinger kaya tinira ko na," he said.
Mark Cardona, who was hitting every shot in the fourth quarter, nailed a big three to give the Tropang Texters a 2-point cushion, 91-89 but Anthony dela Cruz answered with a three of his own. Ranidel de Ocampo of Talk 'N Text then hit a jumper to give his team a 93-92 lead with 17.8 seconds remaining. Miller then hit his big shot.
Sonny Thoss led the Aces with 20 points and 9 rebounds. Larry Fonacier came off the bench to score 15 while grabbing 6 boards. Miller finished with another all-around performance with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. LA Tenorio (10 points, 12 assists, 5 steals) and Reynel Hugnatan (10 points, 10 rebounds) came up huge with doule-doubles.
Cardona led the Tropang Texters with 23 points and 4 steals. Jimmy Alapag added 19 points and 6 assists, Jared Dillinger and Yousif Aljamal had 12 each and Ranidel de Ocampo had 10 points and 11 boards.
Game 6 is on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum with the Aces looking to clinch the title.
Alaska 95 - Thoss 20, Fonacier 15, Miller 15, De Vance 11, Tenorio 10, Hugnatan 10, Dela Cruz 9, Ferriols 5.
Talk 'N Text 93 - Cardona 23, Alapag 19, Dillinger 12, Aljamal 12, De Ocampo R. 10, Castro 7, Carey 4, De Ocampo Y. 4, Peek 2, Ritualo 0.
Quarters: 33-24, 51-43, 72-61, 95-93
Alapag finished with 20 points, shooting 4-of-8 from the three-point line and Mark Cardona added 18 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists for the Tropang Texters, scoring their second straight win after losing the first two games of the series.
“Our defense is really keying our victories,” said Texters coach Chot Reyes. “In the last two games we were able to play defense. I think that was the key.
“Now we've gotten it (series) to where we want it, making it a series again.”
“We didn't knock down our perimeter shots,” Cone, whose team made only four of 25 shots from beyond the arc, compared to TNT's 11-of-27.
“It's 2-2, so it's a best-of-three series now,” he insisted. “It doesn't matter if they won two straight, it's still 0-0.”
Harvey Carey went 8-of-10 from the field to finish with 17 points and 9 rebounds for the Tropang Texters. Ranidel de Ocampo added 13 points, Jared Dillinger 12 and Jason Castro 10.
Willie Miller, who was presented with the Best Player of the Conference trophy before the start of the game, finished with 21 points and 8 assists while Joe Devance had 24 points and 7 rebounds for the Aces.
Reynel Hugnatan and Anthony dela Cruz each had 11 points and 8 boards and Sonny Thoss added 10 points and 11 boards.
Earlier, in an exhibition game, the Burger King Batang BK, formerly known as Air21 Express and the Smart Gilas Philippine National Team finished the game tied at 95.
Game 5 is set on Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome at 7pm, right after the exhibition game between the Burger King Batang BK and the Smart Gilas Philippine National Team handled by Rajko Toroman.
Talk 'N Text 100 - Alapag 20, Cardona 18, Carey 17, de Ocampo R. 13, Dillinger 12, Castro 10, Peek 8, de Ocampo Y. 2, Aljamal 0, Lao 0, Ritualo 0.
Alaska 98 - Devance 24, Miller 21, Hugnatan 11, dela Cruz 11, Thoss 11, Cariaso 9, Tenorio 8, Fonacier 2, Ferriols 2.
Quarters: 30-28, 56-54, 80-75, 100-98
Cardona shot just 13-of-37 in the first 2 games while Alapag just 10-of-31 but the two combined to shoot 15-of-30 as the Tropang Texters narrowed their series deficit to 1-2.
“All we wanted coming in was to get one and worry about getting another later,” said TNT coach Chot Reyes, before expressing what he believed as the keys to his players showing up with the kind of game expected of them.
“Finally, we were able to knock down our shots, but even more critical was our defense. We contained (LA) Tenorio and we were able to contain their entire team,” he said.
“We faced the team we thought we would face in Game 1 and Game 2,” said Cone. “The team we played tonight is same team we're gonna play in the succeeding games of this series and we have to devise more plans to counter that.”
“We spent a lot of energy winning those first two games and it was so hard to match their energy tonight,” Cone said. “They really played with their backs to the wall. We couldn't match that.”
Cardona finished with a game-high 23 points for the Tropang Texters, while Alapag had 19. Jared Dillinger added 15 and Harvey Carey 11 with 14 boards.
Larry Fonacier, Sonny Thoss and Reynel Hugnatan all had 13 points for Alaska while Willie Milelr finished with 11. LA Tenorio, who averaged 22 points, 8 assists and 5.5 rebounds in the first two games, was held scoreless.
Game Four is set on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum with the Aces seeking a 3-1 lead while the Tropang Texters eyeing to level the series.
Talk 'N Text 92 - Cardona 23, Alapag 19, Dillinger 15, Carey 11, Castro 9, de Pcampo Y. 8, Peek 5, de Ocampo R. 2, Reyes 0, Aljamal 0, Ritualo 0.
Alaska 73 - Fonacier 13, Thoss 13, Hugnatan 13, Miller 11, dela Cruz 7, Ferriols 6, Borboran 4, Cariaso 4, Devance 2, Tenorio 0, Sotto 0.
Quarters: 23-15, 48-34, 77-54, 92-73.
Down 84-89 with 6:36 left, the Alaska Aces, led by Willie Miller, uncorked a decisive 16-0 run to take a 100-89 lead with just 61 seconds left, en route to taking a 2-0 lead in the Best of 7 Finals series against the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters with a 100-91 victory in the 2008-2009 KFC PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Miller, who has struggled offensively in the first two games of the series, scored six points, had 2 rebounds and issued an assist during the run.
“Hindi ko alam kung kelan p'wede at kung kelan relaxed,” said the two-time MVP. “Kapag relaxed, galit si (assistant coach) Jolas (Lastimosa). Kapag atake, galit si coach (Tim).”
“He's the best closer in the game,” stated Cone. “We feel if the game is close if we get the ball to his hands we feel we can win. He did that for us tonight. When the game was on the line he took over.”
“We wanted to win the first one and after that win the second game. That worked for us (in the semifinals series) against Sta. Lucia (Realty),” he said.
“Now we see if we can change that a bit and win Game Three. We lost that one to Sta. Lucia but we have to find similar energy. That's always hard since you're playing three games in five days.”
Joe Devance led the Aces with 24 points 9 rebounds and 5 assists. LA Tenorio, the Game 1 hero finished with 17 points and 10 assists. Jeffrey Cariaso added 15 points and Sonny Thoss, who suffered a broken nose in the third quarter, had 14.
Ranidel de Ocampo, who missed game one due to suspension, led the Tropang Texters with 20 points and 6 rebounds. Renren Ritualo added 18 points, Jimmy Alapag 16 points and 4 assists and Harvey Carey 14 points and 9 boards.
Mark Cardona, one of the leading contenders for the Best Player of the Conference pkum, had 16 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocks. He struggled from the three-point line for the second straight game, going 2-for-9 and is now shooting a combined 3-of-20.
Alaska 100 - De Vance 24, Tenorio 17, Cariaso 15, Thoss 14, Dela Cruz 9, Hugnatan 8, Miller 8, Ferriols 3, Fonacier 2.
Talk N' Text 91 - De Ocampo R. 20, Ritualo 18, Cardona 16, Alapag 16, Carey 14, Castro 5, Peek 2, Dillinger 0, De Ocampo Y. 0.
Quarterscores: 25-19, 54-55, 76-79, 100-91.
“Tenorio ate my guards for breakfast,” said frustrated Talk N Text coach Chot Reyes after Tenorio scored a career-high 27 points to lead Alaska to a 102-95 win in the opener of their KFC PBA philippine Cup championship series at the Araneta Coliseum.
“He ate them, chewed them and spat them out,” Reyes added.
“LA played a great game.“I asked him to dictate our tempo, pick his times and he did just those. It was like a vintage Johnny in a finals, who really had good read, instincts for such stuff,” said Cone, referring to former MVP Abarrientos.
Sonny Thoss also had a big game, getting 19 points and 12 rebounds and Tony dela Cruz, who handcuffed gunner Mark Cardona to 14 points on a dismal 6-of-21 shooting, added 17 points, 14 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 assists.
Joe Devance contributed 14 points and Willie Miller 11 for the Aces.
“We gave up 27 turnovers, what can I say?” said Reyes. “I thought we played pretty good defense at the halfcourt, but we committed those turnovers and we shot atrociously (37-of-86).”
The biggest factors, he pointed out, were the turnovers they committed that helped fuel Alaska's windup.
“I told my players that this team is a lot more disciplined and it will make you pay for your mistakes. That was the key, when we made those three straight turnovers.”
Jason Castro led Talk 'N Text with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Harvey Carey added 17 points and 15 boards, Jimmy Alapag 14 points, Yancy de Ocampo 11 and Jared Dillinger 10.
Game 2 is set on Friday at 7pm at the Araneta Coliseum.
Alaska 102 - Tenorio 27, Thoss 19, dela Cruz 17, Devance 14, Miller 11, Cariaso 7, Hugnatan 4, Ferriols 2, Fonacier 1, Sotto 0.
Talk 'N Text 95 - Castro 18, Carey 17, Cardona 14, Alapag 12, De Ocampo 11, Dillinger 10, Ritualo 9, Peek 4, Escobal 0, Aljamal 0.
Quarters: 23-30, 47-44, 72-73, 102-95.
Jimmy Alapag added 27 points 5 rebounds and 9 assists as he and cardona combined for 14 three-pointers to finish off the Beermen in six thrilling games.
“I just kept telling my players during huddle, ‘just go all out and play with your hearts’,” said Talk ’N Text coach Chot Reyes.
“Today marked one year when (TNT owner) Manny V. Pangilinan and (team representative) Ricky Vargas approached me to coach Talk ’N Text. I told them to give me one year and I’ll bring this team to the Finals,” he added.
Yancy de Ocampo, who was suspended for the game after a flagrant foul 2 on Danny Seigle in game 5, saw little brother get ejected with another flagrant foul 2, this one on Lordy Tugade early in the second quarter.
After Cardona's three, Jay Washington of San Miguel missed a layup that could have given the Beermen a one-point edge. Instead, Tropang Texters maintained the one-point margin until the final buzzer with strong rebounding, led by Harvey Carey, who finished with a series-best 22 caroms.
Jared Dillinger finished with 14 points for Talk 'N Text before fouling out. while de Ocampo already had 11 when he was ejected. Ali Peek was a force inside, blocking 5 shots.
Danny Seigle led the Beermen with 21 points and 8 boards, while going 15-for-16 at the freethrow line. Jay Washington posted his league-leading 14th double-double with 19 points and 10 boards. Marc Pingris had 16 points and 9 rebounds, Dondon Hontiveros had 15 and Lordy Tugade added 14.
Talk N' Text 116 - Cardona 34, Alapag 27, Dillinger 14, De Ocampo 11, Peek 9, Ritualo 7, Castro 6, Aljamal 4, Carey 4, Reyes 0, Lao 0.
San Miguel 115 - Seigle 32, Washington 19, Pingris 16, Hontiveros 15, Villanueva 9, Tugade 9, Custodio 8, Pennisi 7, Gonzales 0, Racela 0.
Quarterscores: 35-30, 62-58, 89-80, 111-111, OT 116-115
The win, the fourth straight by the Beermen in do-or-die games this conference, allowed then to force another do-or-die Game 6 on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
With San Miguel controlling the tempo of the game right from the start with a balanced attack, a total of 7 Beermen finished in double figures.
"There's nothing miraculous there. We're just trying our best. We have no other choice," said San Miguel coach Siot Tanquingcen.
"It somehow typifies our campaign. It says 'we have to rejoice in our sufferings as our sufferings produce perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope,'" said Tanquingcen.
Jay Washington finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, Lordy Tugade and Danny Seigle 14 points each, Dondon Hontiveros 12, Bonbon Custodio 11 and Jonas Villanueva had 10 points for San Miguel.
The game became a little rugged towards the end with the Texters looking to rally. Yancy de Ocampo was ejected from the game in the last two minutes on a flagrant foul penalty 2 infraction on Danny Seigle.
Seven players from Talk 'N Text also had double figures in scoring led by Mark Cardona with 19. Harvey Carey grabbed 17 rebounds to go along with his 10 points and Jimmy Alapag, who only had 8 points, issued 10 assists for the second straight game.
San Miguel 125 - Pingris 28, Washington 19, Tugade 14, Seigle 14, Hontiveros 12, Custodio 11, Villanueva 10, Racela 9, Gonzales 5, Pennisi 3.
Talk N' Text 115 - Cardona 19, Dillinger 18, De Ocampo R. 17, ritualo 13, De Ocampo Y. 11, Castro 10, Carey 10, Peek 9, Alapag 8, Reyes 0, Lao 0.
Quarterscores: 30-25, 66-51, 93-74, 125-115
The Phone Pals lost an 18-point second quarter lead in the third quarter as Jay Washington and Danny Seigle led a San Miguel onslaught, getting outscored, 17-33 and trailed most of the second half until Alapag and Cardona caught fire in the fourth.
"I want to meet the scriptwriter of this series," said TNT coach Chot Reyes during the post-game interview as he noted the many exhilarating twists and turns of the series' first four games.
"Just when we thought we had the game sealed the other team would make a comeback and it would always come down to the last shot," Reyes explained.
"I don't expect Friday to be the end (of the series)," said Reyes, maintaining a low profile apparently to keep his troops focused.
The win gives the Tropang Texters a 3-1 lead in their best-of-7 affair, needing only a win to make it to the finals for the first time since the 2006-2007 Fiesta Conference.
Cardona and Alapag each finished with 18 points for the Tropang Texters. Alapag also issued 10 assists. Renren Ritualo added 11 points.
Danny Seigle scored 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead San Miguel. Washington added 23 points and 12 boards. Dondon Hontiveros contributed 18 and Mick Pennisi 10.
Game 5 is set on Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Talk ‘N Text 106 - Dillinger 27, Cardona 18, Alapag 18, Ritualo 11, De Ocampo R. 8, Carey 8, De Ocampo Y. 7, Peek 6, Castro 3, Lao 0.
San Miguel 103 - Seigle 29, Washington 23, Hontiveros 18, Pennisi 10, Villanueva 7, Gonzales 7, Pingris 5, Custodio 4, Bono 0, Tugade 0, Racela 0.
Quarterscores: 25-20, 57-48, 74-81, 106-103.
De Ocampo hit a three to tie at at 102, Alapag hit another three to make it-107-105 and Ali Peek split his charities for a 108-107 lead and prevented Bonbon Custodio from getting a clear look at the basket in the ensuing possession to preserve the victory.
Mark Cardona, who got booed everytime he touched the ball, hit two free throws for the final score, finishing with 16 points.
Jimmy Alapag finished with 22, Ranidel de Ocampo 17, Harvey Carey 15 with 11 rebounds, Peek 12 and 9 boards and Jared Dillinger 11 and 9 in a balanced scoring attack for the Tropang Texters, who survived a career-high 39-point explosion from Beermen Dondon Hontiveros.
"In the huddle, we're talking about our need to stop Dondon. He's all banged up but he's still making his shots. But we're also thinking, he's bound to miss somewhere. He missed some and, in the end, our players had their big plays," sighed Talk n Text coach Chot Reyes.
"What a game. This is gonna be an exciting series," said Reyes.
"This San Miguel team is getting better while becoming depleted. The reason is that they're able to maximize the talents of their players. When they lost Dorian Pena, talagang nag-worry ako," Reyes also said.
Pena sat out the game due to a sprained right foot. Jay Washington, on the other hand, missed the game as he attended to his wife giving birth in the hospital.
Custodio finished with 15 points and 5 steals for San Miguel while Danny Seigle added 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Game 4 is set on Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Talk n Text 110 - Alapag 22, De Ocampo 17, Cardona 16, Carey 15, Peek 15, Dillinger 11, Ritualo 9, Castro 3, De Ocampo 2.
San Miguel 106 - Hontiveros 39, Custodio 15, Seigle 11, Tugade 9, Pennisi 9, Bono 8, Villanueva 7, Pingris 6, Racela 2.
Quarterscores: 33-21, 64-61, 84-91, 110-106.
Bonbon Custodio scored 16 points, Jay Washington 14 and Marc Pingris 11 for the Beermen, who never trailed after the first period.
“We came out really flat last time, parang me hangover pa from our last game,” said Tanquingcen. “Tonight we were more aggressive and that dictated the tempo of the game.”
“I still expect a tough series,” he maintained. “Talk ‘N Text remains a very tough team and you can never say what’s going to happen in the next game. Katulad ngayon, nag-struggle na sila dikit pa rin.
“We must remain mentally focused and have the same energy.”
The league's scoring leader, Mark Cardona, who came in averaging mor than 23 points per game, was held to only 8 points on 2-for-8 shooting and had 7 turnovers in just 20 minutes.
“You’re always gonna have games like that where you struggle. Maybe off sila, but I’m not going to take anything away from our guards,” Tanquingcen pointed out.
Lordy Tugade did not play due to a nagging left knee tendinitis and Dorian Pena suffered a right foot sprain and had to be taken out for good barely two minutes into the third period.
Ranidel de Ocampo (19 points, 10 rebounds), Harvey Carey (13 and 14) and Ali Peek (10 and 11) all had double-doubles for the Tropang Texters. Jimmy Alapag added 17 points and 5 assists.
Game 3 is set on Sunday at 6:30pm with both teams eyeing a pivotal 2-1 series lead.
San Miguel Beer 112 - Hontiveros 23, Seigle 23, Custodio 16, Washington 14, Pingris 11, Racela 9, Villanueva 8, Pennisi 6, Pena 2, Gonzales 0.
Talk ‘N Text 103 - De Ocampo R. 19, Alapag 17, Carey 13, Peek 10, Castro 9, Cardona 8, Ritualo 8, Dillinger 7, Reyes 6, De Ocampo Y. 6, Aljamal 0, Lao 0.
Quarterscores: 27-26, 59-54, 84-71, 112-103.
The Tropang Texters connected on a total of 23 three-pointers, tying the league record the team itself recorded last conference.
"We knew San Miguel was very tired coming from the wildcard round and the Ginebra (quarterfinals) series. We were worried how sharp we would be but we're really thinking on relying on our energy," Reyes explained.
"But it's just one game in a long series. They were able to rest their key players in this game. Now, we have to be ready for their big fightback," Reyes added.
Renren Ritualo finished with 24, Mark Cardona had 21, Jimmy Alapag 20, Jason Castro 17, Yancy de Ocampo 14 and Ranidel de Ocampo 10 in a display of firepower that the Beermen wasn't able to match.
Jay Washington, who was shipped by the Tropang Texters to San Miguel before the season started, had a game-high 29 points and grabbed 13 rebounds while fellow big man Mick Pennisi had 19 and 11 as they were the only bright spot in an otherwise gloomy game for San Miguel. Marc Pingris added 11 and Danny Seigle 10.
Talk 'N Text 129 - Ritualo 24, Cardona 21, Alapag 20, Castro 17, De Ocampo Y. 14, De Ocampo R. 10, Carey 8, Peek 7, Dillinger 5, Aljamal 3, Reyes 0, Lao 0.
San Miguel 100 - Washington 29, Pennisi 19, Pingris 11, Seigle 10, Hontiveros 9, Gonzales 6, Villanueva 5, Custodio 4, Tugade 4, Baguion 2, Pena 1, Bono 0.
Quarterscores: 39-18, 64-38, 100-65, 129-100
The win, TNT's 11th in 18 games, assured them of at least a playoff for an outright Semifinals berth. A Rain or Shine loss to the Brgy. Ginebra Kings later in the evening will mean semifinals for the Tropang Texters.
“By some sheer twist of providence, we ran that same play for Ranidel during practice (last Wednesday) with two seconds left,” Reyes said. “Little did we know that we’ll find ourselves with the same situation.”
“We ran decoys for Mac-Mac (Cardona), Renren (Ritualo) and Jimmy (Alapag), but Ranidel was our first option,” he added.
A play earlier, Gary David split his charities that pt the Express up by a point, 108-107, only 2.1 seconds remaining.
Jimmy Alapag had 23 points for Talk 'N Text. Harvey Carey added 17, Mark Cardona 16, Yancy de Ocampo 14 and Jason Castro 12 points, 9 rebonds, 7 assists and 3 blocks.
David led Air21, who is now relegated to the wildcard, with 23 points and 5 boards. Don Allado added 18, Wynne Arboleda 14 and Egay Billones 12.
Talk N' Text 109 - Alapag 23, R. De Ocampo 18, Carey 17, Cardona 16, Y. De Ocampo 14, Castro 12, Aljamal 4, Ritualo 3, Peek 2, Escobal 0, Lao 0.
Air21 108 - David 23, Allado 18, Arboleda 14, Billones 12, Kramer 9, Santos 9, Canaleta 8, Quinahan 7, Intal 4, Cruz 2, Sta. Maria 2.
Quarterscores: 31-33, 60-57, 77-90, 109-108.
Mark, Cardona, the league's numero uno scorer, led four other Tropang Texters in double figures with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field, hitting all three of his three-point shots, and added 6 rebounds. Jimmy Alapag, Jared Dillinger, Jason Castro and Renren Ritualo were the other double-figure scorer for Talk 'N Text, which tied Rain or Shine at second spot, half a game behind frontrunning Alaska in a mad race for the two automatic semis berths.
“It’s nice to be on the other side of a game like that,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes. “It was the opposite end when we played against Alaska. But what can I say, we have to put this game behind us and focus on Air21.”
Ranidel de Ocampo, the newest Tropang Texter acquired in a trade with Air21 a little over 24 hours earlier, played 21 minutes, getting 8 points and 9 boards.
“The players were energized with De Ocampo coming in,” said Reyes. “We now have a couple of days to work on Ranidel. It’s just exciting for us to have a player of his caliber.
“Our task now is to keep sharp. It’s now up to us. I defintely do not like our position. There’s a lot of complications.”
Billy Mamaril led the Kings with 17 points. Sunday Salvacion added 12 and Junjun Cabatu and Alex Crisano chipped in 11 apiece.
Talk 'N Text 109 - Cardona 21, Alapag 17, Dillinger 15, Ritualo 12, Castro 12, De Ocampo R. 8, Peek 8, De Ocampo Y. 7, Escobal 5, Aljamal 2, Carey 2, Reyes 0.
Brgy. Ginebra 85 - Mamaril 17, Salvacion 12, Cabatu 11, Crisano 11, Helterbrand 8, Artadi 7, Escalona 6, Wilson 4, Tubid 3, Pacana 2, Menk 2, Reavis 2.
Quarterscores: 35-12, 64-30, 86-50, 109-85.
"It was big considering the circumstances we're in. We're coming off back-to-back sorry losses and we had to overcome a big deficit here. It's nice to win again," said Gregorio on the crucial win coming after successive defeats to Rain or Shine and Sta. Lucia Realty.
"Everything is not yet lost. Hopefully, we can continue to compete and make the Top Five," added Gregorio whose team jacked up their record to 8-9.
The win, as slim as it may, kept their outright quarterfinal hopes alive.
Kerby Raymundo added 14 points for the Giants.
Mark Cardona, the league's leading scorer, scored 30 points, issued 6 assists and had 4 steals to lead the Tropang Texters. Jason Castro added 21 points and 5 rebounds and Yancy de Ocampo 16 points and 9 boards.
Purefoods 96 -- Yap J. 25, Villanueva 24, Raymundo 14, Lanete 9, Robinson 9, Alvarez 6, Yap R. 5, Belga 4, Alonzo 0, Aban 0.
Talk n Text 93 -- Cardona 30, Castro 21, De Ocampo 16, Carey 8, Dillinger 6, Alapag 3, Allado 3, Aljamal 2, Peek 2, Ritualo 2.
Quarterscores: 14-24, 35-48, 63-72, 96-93
Rookies Jared Dillinger and Jason Castro each chipped in 14 points as the Tropang Texters , who has won their last four games, now shares second spot with idle San Miguel to shore up their hopes of getting an automatic semis seat.
"We struggled offensively in the first half but our defense held in the last minutes of the first half, keeping them within our sight going into the final half. That won it for us," said Talk n Text mentor Chot Reyes.
The top two teams at the end of the double round elimination gets automatic semis seats, the next three gets quarterfinals seats. The next four battles out for the fourth quarterfnals slot while the last placed team gets eliminated.
"We had a modest goal after a struggle at the start of the tourney. All we wanted was to make the Magic Five. But now that we're here, I think we can now aim higher," said Reyes.
Gabe Norwood paced the Elasto Painters with 16 points and 7 boards. Mark Isip added 14 points and 7 rebounds, Allan Salangsang 14 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks, and Jay-R Reyes 10 points and 16 boards.
Rain or Shine, who started the day tied for second place, slipped to solo fourth.
Talk n Text 92 -- Cardona 24, Alapag 24, Dillinger 14, Castro 14, Carey 5, Allado 5, Aljamal 3, Peek 3, Reyes 0, Lao 0, Ritualo 0.
Rain or Shine 83 -- Norwood 16, Isip 14, Salangsang 14, Reyes 10, Wainwright 9, Arana 7, Ibanes 6, Tang 5, Mercado 2, Dulay 0.
Quarterscores: 24-26, 39-43, 69-68, 92-83
Jason Castro added a career-high 20 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds, offsetting the hot shooting of Coca-Cola's Mark Macapagal as the Tropang Texters mpved within half a game behind Rain or Shine and San Miguel for second spot.
Macapagal torched the Tropang Texters with a career-high 31 points, finishing 8-of11 from beyond the arc but the Tigers rally just fell short.
“Coke's a tough team, but we were fortunate they missed their starting point guard,” said Talk 'N text coach Chot Reyes. “But just like other teams, we have to take advantage of Cabagnot not being able to play.”
Ali Peek added 11 points and 10 boards and Jimmy Alapag 10 points and 6 assists for the Tropang Texters.
Asi Taulava finished with 13 points and 22 rebounds for the Tigers. Ronjay Buenafe and Mark Telan added 10 apiece.
Talk ‘N Text 90 - Cardona 29, Castro 20, Peek 11, Alapag 10, Dillinger 9, Carey 4, De Ocampo 4, Aljamal 3, Reyes 0, Ritualo 0, Allado 0.
Coca-Cola 82 - Macapagal 31, Taulava 13, Buenafe 10, Telan 10, Calimag 8, Arigo 5, Dimaunahan 3, Belasco 2, Enrile 0, Misolas 0, Santos 0.
Quarterscores: 13-13, 44-27, 68-60, 90-82
Alapag combined with Renren Ritualo and Mark Cardona to sink 11 three-pointers while rookie Jared Dillinger added 17 oints as the Tropang Texters move into a three-way tie for third place with Sta. Lucia and Rain or Shine with a 7-6 win-loss slate, now just half a game behind the Beermen who fell to 8-6.
"Coming into this game, I told the boys any team can play one good game as we did against Sta. Lucia but the mark of a good team is the ability to string up consecutive good games. We've made it two in a row and hopefully we can continue winning," said Talk 'N Text coach Chot Reyes.
Ritualo finished with 16 points and Cardona 13 for the Tropang Texters.
"We drew energy from our backcourt players whose exploits offset San Miguel's rebounds," said Reyes.
Lordy Tugade led the Beermen with 20 points. Mick Pennisi added 17 and former Talk 'N Text Jay Washington had 12 points and 19 rebounds.
Talk n Text 85 - Alapag 20, Dillinger 17, Ritualo 16, Cardona 13, Carey 8, Peek 6, Allado 2, De Ocampo 2, Castro 1, Reyes 0.
San Miguel 80 -- Tugade 20, Pennisi 17, Washington 12, Villanueva 9, Hontiveros 9, Pena 8, Custodio 4, Racela 1, Gonzales 0, Bono 0.
Quarterscores: 16-18, 37-38, 55-49, 85-80
Cardona shot 11-of-19 from the fiels while Alapag shot 6-of-10, including four three-pointers as the team finished with a 51.3% (40-of-78) clip from the field, while limiting the Realtors to only 36.8% (28-of-76).
"Going to the game, we knew it's gonna be about how quickly we forget the loss to Alaska and how we get back. Fortunately, with lots of talks, we recovered quickly," said Talk n Text coach Chot Reyes.
"We know it's within the team to play this way. We just have to find it. We're playing another tough game Sunday. Hopefully, we can use this game as a springboard against San Miguel," Reyes also said, expecting a battle against the Beermen in a game in Singapore this weekend.
"I was to blame for Macmac's seven-point game against Alaska, and I had apologized to my players. They (the Aces) played box-and-one and I wasn't able to make the adjustment," said Reyes.
The win put the Tropang Texters into a four-team tie for third with the Realtors, the Air21 Express and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, al with 6-6 win-loss slates.
Jared Dillinger had 14 points and 8 boards, Harvey Carey 12 and 5 and Renren Ritualo added 10 points for the Tropang Textes.
Kelly Williams paced the Realtors with 15 points and 7 boards. Dennis Espino (13), Ryan Reyes (12) , Joseph Yeo (11), Dennis Miranda (10) and Marlou Aquino (10) all chipped in at least 10.
Talk n Text 104 - Cardona 27, Alapag 23, Dillinger 14, Carey 12, Ritualo 10, Castro 9, Peek 4, Reyes 3, De Ocampo 2, Aljamal 0, Lao 0, Allado 0.
Sta. Lucia 82 - Williams 15, Espino 13, Reyes 12, Yeo 11, Miranda 10, Aquino 10, Gonzales 6, Gregorio 3, Omolon 2, Coronel 0, Daa 0, Butel 0.
Quarterscores: 34-29, 56-41, 77-65, 104-8
The Aces were hot right from the start, erecting a 31-13 first half lead and had a big 26-0 run bridging the 1st and 2nd quarters as the Aces found themselves up by 44 points at the end of three, 95-51. the run is the second longest in history, bested only by the 32-0 run by Ginebra in the fourth quarter of a 116-90 win in Game 5 of Finals of the the First Conference on May 14, 1991.
The win is the 700th for the franchise, becoming the fastest team to reach it and joining San Miguel and Ginebra as the only teams to reach the plateau.
"It's a little bit shocking. But I'm proud of our guys because we're coming off a tough loss," said Cone
"I see it so many times in my career… everything goes right for us and everything goes wrong for them. It was just one of those nights. I've experienced that as a coach on the other end and its always nice to be at this end of it … the winning end of it," he added.
LA Tenorio added 15 , John Ferriols 14 points and 9 boards and Willie Miller 13 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists for the Aces.
Rookie Jason Castro led the Tropang Texters with a career-high 16 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Jimmy Alapag added 12 points and 7 assists and Yousif Aljamal 11 points. Mark Cardona, the league's leading scorer and coming off a career-high 42 points, went only 2-of-10 from the field and finished with a season-low 7 points.
Alaska 113 - Devance 21, Thoss 17, Tenorio 15, Ferriols 14, Miller 13, Fonacier 8, Hugnatan 6, Dela Pena 5, Borboran 5, Dela Cruz 5, Cariaso 4, Sotto 0.
Talk ‘N Text 86 - Castro 16, Alapag 12, Aljamal 11, Dillinger 10, Cardona 7, Peek 7, De Ocampo 6, Carey 5, Ritualo 4, Allado 4, Escobal 2, Reyes 2.
Quarterscores: 31-13; 64-31; 95-91; 113-86
“I work hard, I play hard, kaya ang game na ito parang message ko na rin kay Coach Yeng na I deserve to be in the national team,” said Cardona.
“I think I should have been considered,” said Cardona, left out of Guiao's initial 14-man national pool from which will be culled the country's representatives to next year's Asian qualifying tournament for the 2010 World Championship.
“Hoping pa rin ako,” he stated. “Gustong-gusto ko kasing mag-national team. Minsan-minsan lang iyon eh.”
Ali Peek added 14 points and 9 boards and Jason Castro 10 points and 4 assists for the Tropang Texters.
Cardona, who shot 17-of-26 from the field, including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, scored 17 in the third as Talk 'N Text took the lead and never let up.
Celino Cruz led Red Bull with 15 points. Gabby Espinas(14 points, 1 rebounds), Larry Rodriguez(11), Cyrus Baguio (10), Carlo Sharma (10) and Leo Najorda (10) also chipped in double figures for the Barakos.
Talk ‘N Text 103 - Cardona 42, Peek 14, Castro 10, Dillinger 9, Carey 8, De Ocampo 8, Allado 6, Ritualo 5, Alapag 1, Escobal 0, Reyes 0, Aljamal 0.
Red Bull 93 - Cruz 15, Espinas 14, Rodriguez 11, Najorda 10, Sharma 10, Baguio 10, Chan 9, Hubalde 6, Duncil 4, Hrabak 4, Ybanez 0.
Quarterscores: 24-29, 44-50, 82-70, 103-93
After falling behind 16-36, the Tropang Texters outscored the Kings in the next two quarters, 66-31 to post an 82-67 lead entering the final canto.
"We have yet to play a complete game this season even in this victory. We have to find a way to play 48 minutes to be in contention in this tourney," said Reyes.
"That's the drawback of having a deep bench with players who have yet to groove their game together. In our game against Purefoods, we played very well in the first 46 minutes only to flounder in the last two minutes. May game na maganda ang laro ni Jimmy Alapag at Yancy de Ocampo, hindi naman maganda ang kay Jason Castro at kay Don Allado. Ngayon baligtad at hindi talaga magkasabay-sabay ang ganda ng laro," Reyes further explained.
The league's scoring leader, Mark Cardona, led Talk 'N Text with a seaso-high 32 points on 15-of-24 shooting from the floor. Don Allado, Jared Dillinger, Jimmy Alapag and Harvey Carey added 17, 16, 15 and 11 points, respectively. Carey also hauled down 15 boards.
"All throughout, ang usapan lang namin huwag kaming mawalan ng loob. Good for us, we got our game going in the last three quarters," said Reyes as they ended their three-game skid.
Ronald Tubid led the Kings with 17 points and 9 boards. Junjun Cabatu added 16, Jayjay Helterbrand 15, Sunday Salvacion 13 and Willy Wilson 12.
Talk n Text 103 -- Cardona 32, Allado 17, Dillinger 16, Alapag 15, Carey 11, Castro 7, De Ocampo 3, Ritualo 2, Reyes 0, Aljamal 0, Peek 0.
Brgy. Ginebra 90 -- Tubid 17, Cabatu 16, Helterbrand 15, Salvacion 13, Wilson 12, Mamaril 6, Menk 6, Escalona 4, Artadi 1, Pacana 0, Holper 0, Crisano 0.
Quarterscores: 16-36, 49-55, 82-67, 103-90.
Both Yap and Lanete nailed 5 three-pointers each, as Purefoods improved its win-loss card to an even 4-4 with its third straight victory.
The Giants scored the last 11 points of the game, including two threes by Yap.
“I've been very, very hard on this guy,” said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio of Lanete, who scored all of his points in the second half to help the team notch a third straight win despite the absence of two key players in Peter June Simon (medial collateral ligament tear on left knee) and Roger Yap (severe contusion on right knee).
“He's been getting all the flak, all the blame from me,” added Gregorio. “But this guy is made of strong steel. He did not give up, and now he's proved to us he's a big part of this franchise.”
Lanete was apparently only learning from the master of game-winners, who just happened to be his teammate.
“Lakasan lang ng loob iyan,” said James Yap. “Nakita ko kasing kailangan namin ng tres eh.”
“Hindi ko na inisip ang oras, basta tinira ko na lang,” related Lanete, the former Lyceum star who was an undrafted free agent in 2006 before being taken in by Purefoods last year. He actually applied for the draft in 2005 but was disqualified after failing to attend the required Rookie Camp.
“Basta sinunod lang namin si coach, na ang play kay James and Kerby. Nung magmintis, alam kong basta makuha bola, kailangang itira na,” he added.
“The brightest star tonight was Chico,” noted Gregorio. “He not only kept us alive, he made sure his efforts will not go for naught.”
Kerby Raymundo added 12 points and 5 steals for the Giants while Topex Robinson had 10 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists.
Mark Cardona, the league's leading scorer had 21 points to lead the Tropang Texters, who has now lost three straight. Jason Castro added 14 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, Yancy de Ocampo 14 points and 14 rebounds and Harvey Carey 12 points.
Purefoods 88 - Yap J. 30, Lanete 24, Raymundo 12, Robinson 10, Belga 4, Villanueva 4, alonzo 2, Salvador 2, Fernandez 0, aban 0, Bugia 0, Alvarez 0.
Talk 'N Text 87 - Cardona 21, Castro 14, De Ocampo 14, Carey 12, Alapag 10, Ritualo 7, Allado 5, Peek 4, Dillinger 0.
Quarterscores: 15-17, 33-48, 59-66, 88-87.
“It's another big upset win for us and I'm just glad it's over,” said Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao, who was thrown out of the gme after incurring his second technical foul with still 4:57 left in the third quarter. “If we had lost it would have been totally my fault.”
Red Bull, after starting the season with three straight setbacks, has now won their last three games.
“I was just psyching them out because I felt we were fading in the last minutes of the quarter,” explained Guiao of his ejection that did not prevent his team from plodding on and improving to a 3-3 win-loss record and a tie with its victim, Rain or Shine and Air21.
“But we had two things going for us, which was the system we had in place and the guys stuck to the gameplan. Coach Gee is just so used to such a situation, and I believe he can head coach any PBA team anytime.”
Rookie Jeffrei Chan had an inbounds error allowing fellow rookie Jared Dillinger of Talk 'N Text to steal the ball, who quickly called timeout.
In the ensuing play, Mark Cardona, who led the Tropang Texters with 26 points, was stripped by Jojo Duncil and Jason Castro missed a last-second basket as time expired.
Larry Rodriguez, Carlo Sharma and Celino Cruz each had 14 points for Red Bull.
Dillinger had 15 points for Talk 'N Text. Harvey Carey added 12 points and 10 rebounds and Ali Peek 11 and 13. Jimmy Alapag had 11 and Renren Ritualo 10.
Red Bull 104 - Espinas 20, Baguio 20, Rodriguez 14, Sharma 14, Cruz 14, Duncil 9, Chan 6, Najorda 4, Ybanez 3, Hubaldo 0, Alvarez 0, Hrabak 0.
Talk ‘N Text 102 - Cardona 26, Dillinger 15, Carey 12, Alapag 11, Peek 11, Ritualo 10, Castro 9, Aljamal 6, Allado 2, Escobal 0, Lao 0, de Ocampo 0.
Quarters: 27-24, 60-49, 80-76, 104-102
“We came into these game aiming for a win in these tough three game stretch, first against Sta. Lucia Realty, then San Miguel Beer and now Alaska,” Talk ’N Text coach Chot Reyes said. “We wanted to get the ‘W’, we’re glad that we got it.”
“We’re a team not known for our defense, because minsan lang we concentrate too much on our offense, nawawala ‘yung defense namin. But we have to balance it. While we’re concentrating on playing tough defense, we have to retain that offensive arsenal,” Reyes added.
A non-call with a little under 8 minutes left in the game drew the ire of Aces coach Tim Cone, who was then called for 2 straight technicals resulting to his ejection.
“Peek’s presence underscores the team’s defense, which I think was the key to this win,” Reyes said.
Willie Miller led the Aces with 29 points. Joe Devance added 16 and LA Tenorio 10.
Talk ’N Text 91 - Cardona 24, Dillinger 18, Peek 16, Ritualo 10, Castro 8, Alapag 6, Carey 4, Aljamal 3, De Ocampo 2, Reyes 0, Allado 0.
Alaska 83 - Miller 29, Devance 16, Tenorio 10, Hugnatan 8, Cariaso 8, Ferriols 6, Thoss 4, Dela Cruz 2, Fonacier 0, Sotto 0.
Quarterscores: 22-19; 40-36; 67-59: 91-83
Dondon Hontiveros added 11 points and rookie Bonbon Custodio 10 as the Beermen won their third straight after an opening game loss to the league-leading Alaska Aces.
"They shouldn't have given me up," said Washington later when asked of his message to Talk n Text.
"He played well and it came out naturally. Ganadong-ganado at gigil na gigil sa practice pa lang," said coach Siot Tanquingcen of their new recruit.
"It feels good to make it three in a row. But I have to insist it's a long season and we still have to work on a lot of things to be where we want it to be in the end," said Tanquingcen.
Mark Cardona led the Tropang Texters with 27 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Don Allado came off the bench to add 15 points and 11 boards for Talk 'N Text, who has dropped two straight after winning their first two games.
San Miguel 84 -- Washington 21, Hontiveros 11, Custodio 10,Tugade 9, Pennisi 9, Pena 7, Pingris 6, Racela 5, Villanueva 4, Bono 2, Cortez 0.
Talk n Text 77 -- Cardona 27, Allado 15, Alapag 9, Ritualo 9, Carey 8, Dillinger 7, Castro 2, Reyes 0, Aljamal 0, De Ocampo 0.
Quarterscores: 27-21, 52-41, 68-68, 84-77
“Even with Kelly struggling in the first half, I still told my players to look for him,” related Fernandez of his top player, who only shot 2-of-8 from the field in the first 24 minutes of play, one of his rare conversions a long jumper that was initially ruled as a three.
“I told them to focus on Kelly because as soon as he starts hitting his shots, then their defense has to collapse on him and it will free up our other guys.”
“It's nice to get a win against a very strong team like Talk 'N Text,” said Fernandez. “I think our defensive adjustment on their wings was the key.”
The Realtors outscored the Tropang Texters, 81-59 in the 2nd half after trailing 36-37 after the first 24 minutes of action.
Jseph Yeo added 18 points, norman Gonzales 14, Dennis Miranda 11 points and 7 assists. Last Year's Rookie of the Year, Ryan Reyes scored his 2nd straight double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Veteran Dennis Espino had an all-around game with 8 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists.
Mark Cardona led the Tropang Texters with 19 points and 5 rebounds but had a season-worst 9 turnovers. Rookie Jason Castro and Jimmy Alapag added 14 each, another rookie, Jared Dillinger 11 and Harvey Carey and Don Allado 10 each.
Sta. Lucia 117 - Williams 25, Omolon 24, Yeo 18, Gonzales 14, Reyes 13, Miranda 11, Espino 8, Daa 2, Aquino 2, Gregorio 0, Mendoza 0.
Talk ‘N Text 96 - Cardona 19, Castro 14, Alapag 14, Dillnger 11, Carey 10, Allado 10, Ritualo 8, De Ocampo 8, Aljamal 2, Reyes 0, Lao 0.
Quarterscores: 18-14, 36-37, 75-67, 117-96
Rookie Jared Dillinger had another stellar game with 23 points and 6 rebounds while Jimmy Alapag also had 23 and 6. Mark Cardona added 22 points (20 in the second half), 4 rebounds and 5 assists as the Tropang Texters grab the early lead in the conference with their second straight win.
Air21, who led until that fiery Tropang Texters run missed the services of four key players. Homer Se and Arwind Santos served out their one-game suspension due to the incident in their first game of the seaso against Rain or Shine. Doug Kramer wed longtime girlfriend Cheska Garcia and JC Intal served as his best man.
Harvey Carey was a monster off the boards, finishing with 20 to go along with 16 points. Yancy de Ocampo added 11 points and 7 rebounds for Talk 'N Text.
Gary David led the Express with 23 points. JR Quinahan had career-highs of 15 points and 17 rebounds in 37 minutes. Wynne Arboleda had 15 points and 9 boards, Ranidel de Ocampo 14 and 11, Egay Billones added 13 points and Nino Canaleta 11 for the Express.
Talk 'N Text 112 - Dillinger 23, Alapag 23, Cardona 22, Carey 16, de Ocampo Y. 11, Castro 9, Allado 4, Reyes 2, Ritualo 2, Escobal 0, Aljamal 0, Lao 0.
Air21 102 - David 23, Quinahan 15, Arboleda 15, de Ocampo R. 14, Billones 13, Canaleta 11, Cruz 6, Sta. Maria 4, Villanueva 0.
Quarterscores: 16-21, 40-53, 80-89, 112-101
With the score tied at 97, Taulava dove for a loose ball and subsequently called a timeout after grabbing it with 7 seconds left, problem was, the Tigers was out of timeouts and thus were assessed a technical foul. Jimmy Alapag nailed the technical freethrow. In the ensuing possession, Taulava's putback was ruled to have come just after the buzzer as Talk 'N Text whooped it up in celebration.
"I felt we really played well pero napagod dahil we had to play small minus Ali Peek," said Talk n Text coach Chot Reyes.
"But we got a big break. It's just the first game of the season but, at least, we got the monkey off our back especially playing against Asi (Taulava)," Reyes added.
Renren Ritualo led the Tropang Texters with 24 points and 5 rebounds. Mark Cardona added 21 and 6. Rookies Jared Dillinger (15 points, 6 rebounds), Rob Reyes(7 points, 4 rebounds) and Jason Castro(5 points, 7 assists) of TNT all mae good accounts for themselves in their first game in the league. Yancy de Ocampo added 11 points and 8 rebounds for TNT.
"You see what our rookies can do. They will really be a part of the team," said Reyes, impressed with what his rookies have been doing in practice.
Ronjay Buenafe led the Tigers with 20 points. Alex Cabagnot added 17 points and 7 assists. Three Tigers wound up with double-doubles in the losing effort, Nic Belasco with 18 points and 10 rebounds, Asi Taulava 13 and 14 and Mark Telan 13 and 12.
Talk 'N Text 98 - Ritualo 24, Cardona 21, Dillinger 15, De Ocampo 11, Reyes 7, Carey 6, Allado 6, Castro 5, Alapag 3, Aljamal 0, Chia 0, Lao 0.
Coca-Cola 97 - Buenafe 20, Belasco 18, Cabagnot 17, Taulava 13, Telan 13, Rizada 4, Macapagal 4, Arigo 4, Baguion 2, Calimag 0.
Quarterscores: 23-24, 60-47, 80-73, 98-97