Monday, 9 May 2011

Texters end series in Game 6 to capture back-to-back PBA titles - gmanews

Posted by chardyboy on Monday, May 09, 2011 0 comments


Talk N Text is aware of Barangay Ginebra’s proud never-say-die spirit. But the Tropang Texters were determined to establish their own milestone in the Philippine Basketball Association.

The Tropang Texters went to their old reliable Jimmy Alapag, who delivered five crucial points in overtime and helped steer his squad to a 99-96 title-clinching win in Game 6 of the Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven Finals series on Mother’s Day at the packed Big Dome.

Unlike boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, who had to come out with a win via unanimous decision, the Tropang Texters were poised to deliver the knockout blow on a rainy Sunday evening.

“I told my team that Game 6 is our do-or-die game. Nothing more. Because I believe if we lose Game 6, there’s no chance for us to win Game 7," said Talk N Text coach Chot Reyes, obviously referring to the Gin Kings as the most dangerous team to play in knockout situations.

The Gin Kings are no stranger from making comebacks. In the 1991 import-laced conference, they became the first – and only team so far – to fight back from a 1-3 deficit and win the best-of-seven Finals series over Shell.

But the Tropang Texters ended it in six games, giving Reyes and his squad their own opportunity of achieving personal and team milestones.

Reyes’ back-to-back championships was his latest coaching feat. Previously, the 18-year veteran mentor became the first bench tactician in the pro league to win at least two titles in three different teams.

For Talk N Text, the back-to-back crowns were also a great crowing glory to the squad that is on track to become one of the greatest teams in league history.

But winning back-to-back titles proved to be a struggle.

Alapag’s triple in the 2:14 mark of the overtime gave the Texters a 94-93 lead. He then scored the game's final two points from the charity stripe with 15.2 seconds to go, then Talk N Text held its ground in Ginebra's final play by contesting its rival's last two shots to preserve the win -- and eventually end the series in six games.

The Texters trailed by 15, 66-81, early in the fourth period, but they launched a dizzying 16-3 run in the fourth quarter to turn a one-sided match into an exciting finale.

Jason Castro, voted Co-Finals Most Valuable Players along with Alapag, capped that big spurt with a three-point play as the Tropang Texters came to within two, 82-84, 3:53 left in the match.
From there, it came down to a defensive battle.

Paul Harris and Castro came up with big defensive plays while the Gin Kings forced a three-second violation in the closing minute of regulation.

In between those stops, Alapag drove past Rob Labagala, allowing the Texters to equalize, 88-all, with still 19 seconds to go.

In the final play, Labagala took matters into his own hands and missed a running hook as time expired.

Rookie Rob Labagala, hero in one of Ginebra’s two victories in the series, triggered a Gin Kings’ breakaway.

He had a triple in the 2:04 mark in the third period that gave the Gin Kings a 74-61 lead.

I told the guys that rookies Labagala and John Wilson were kicking their butts, so they were some sort challenged by my statement," said Reyes. - GMA News

The scores:

Talk N' Text 99 - Alapag 24, Castro 19, Harris 18, De Ocampo 18, Williams 10, Peek 10, Reyes 0, Fonacier 0, Carey 0.

Ginebra 96 - Miller 21, Brumfield 18, Intal 17, J. Wilson 14, Labagala 8, Caguioa 6, Menk 5, Cortez 3, Mamaril 2, Hatfield 2, Tubid 0.

Quarters: 23-28, 48-53, 64-74, 88-88, 99-96


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