Defending champion Talk ’N Text survives pesky Alaska squad to return to PBA FinalsBy Calvin D. Cordova
Finally dispatching a young but talented opponent, the defending champions Talk ’N Text Tropang Texters kept alive their bid of becoming the first team in a very long while to win three straight All-Filipino crowns.
The Texters sealed their sixth finals appearance in the last seven conferences by nailing an 83-78 win over the Alaska Aces last night in Game 6 of thier best-of-seven semfinal series at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Talk ’N Text won the series, 4-2, arranging an intriguing championship date with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. The best-of-seven titular showdown will begin on Jan. 9.
The Painters booked the first finals tickets by disposing the San Mig Coffee Mixers in their own best-of-seven series, 4-2.
Jimmy Alapag provided the Texters the needed leadership in the second half, where the Aces stole the lead after trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half.
Alapag scored all of his 15 points in the second half, making two free throws that gave Talk ’N Text the lead for good, 58-57. Alapag followed up his made free throws with two straight triples but Alaska moved within 62-64 via a 4-0 run to end the third. But the Texters showed poise down the stretch to escape with the win.
TALK N’ TEXT (83)- Castro 16, Alapag 15, Dillinger 11, Williams 11, De Ocampo 11,Carey 6, Fonacier 5, Peek 5, Reyes 3, Raymundo 0, Aban 0.
ALASKA (78)- Abueva 23, Espinas 13, Thoss 11, Casio 10, Hontiveros 7, Baracael 6, Jazul 5, Baguio 3, Dela Cruz 0.QUARTERSCORES: 25-18, 42-41, 64-62, 83-78.