Monday, 25 April 2011

PBA: Kings slam door on Gilas, arrange titular showdown with Texters

Posted by chardyboy on Monday, April 25, 2011 0 comments


When the going got tough, the experience team — and players — delivered.

Banking on veterans Ronald Tubid and Willie Miller, Barangay Ginebra slammed the door on Smart Gilas, 92-85, Sunday night and arranged a dream title duel with top seed Talk `N Text for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship at the Araneta Coliseum.

Virtually a non-factor the last time, Tubid exploded at the right place at the right time for the Kings, pouring 11 of his team-high 22 points in a huge game-changing, third quarter run that allowed the league’s most popular ball club to climb back from a 36-51 deficit.

He later knocked in a pair of three-pointers late in the decisive fourth, including the final of his six triples for the night that put the Kings beyond reach of the young Nationals, 88-73.

In all, the former University of the East stalwart, who was held down to three points in Ginebra’s Game 3 loss, finished 6-of-11 from beyond the arc.

And Miller?

The two-time league Most Valuable Player scored 10 of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, accounting for all but two of the Kings’ first 12 points in the period as Ginebra seized control of Game 4 for good, 80-71.

The Kings wrapped up the best-of-five series, 3-1.

The Gin Kings will face the top seeded Tropang Texters in a best-of-seven series, which will be the franchise’s 19th Finals appearance and first since losing to San Miguel in the 2009 Fiesta Conference.

Overall, Ginebra is seeking to win its ninth title.

“It’s nice to be back in the championship," said Kings’ coach Jong Uichico, appearing in his 14th Finals stint and seeking a ninth championship. “Gilas is just a tough opponent. They’re a team that’s coached very well with a fluid system. We had to find ways just to stay in the game."

Game 1 of the Finals is set on Wednesday also at the Big Dome.

Talk `N Text and Ginebra met in a championship series just once, with the Kings, then handled by Siot Tanquingcen, beating the Tropang Texters in six games for the 2005 Fiesta Conference crown.

“I think they’re strong," said Uichico of the Tropang Texters, who swept Air21 Express in the other best-of-five semifinals series. “I think we have to play a better game (to beat them) than today. There’s no time to relax."

Talk N Text goes into the Finals carrying an 11-game winning streak.

Rudy Hatfield added 16 points and Mark Caguioa 15 for the Kings as they made up for the lackluster showing of import Nate Brumfield.

The stocky American was held to just nine points in his worst offensive game in the tournament.

Despite playing in foul trouble, naturalized player Marcus Douthit had 25 points and 17
rebounds for the Nationals, who sat on a 15-point lead early in the third before Tubid led that spirited Ginebra comeback. - RCJ, GMA News


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