Talk ‘N Text mightily defended the Philippine Cup against the overachieving Powerade squad.
Denied in the last game, the Tropang Texters slammed the Tigers’ bid to extend the series as they took Game Five, 110-101, Sunday night to wrap up the series at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Behind the all-around of effort of Ryan Reyes, Talk ‘N Text braved Powerade’s comeback in the fourth period to notch its fifth PBA title and third all-Filipino crown.
It was also a historic triumph for the franchise as it became the first team in 27 years to defend the PBA’s most prestigious title. Great Taste was the last squad to accomplish the feat in 1985.
“Masaki tang pagkatalo sa Grand Slam. Eto pala ang kapalit, defending the All-Filipino that took 27 years in the making. This makes it a lot sweeter,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes, who nailed his eighth PBA crown, tying Jong Uichico for fourth in the all-time list.
This was Reyes’ fifth all-Filipino title, second-most behind the legendary Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan, who had six.
I believe every championship is made up of special moments,” added Reyes. “When Ali [Peek] was shot, that point was a big step for the bond and teamsmanship of this group of individuals.”
Peek was shot in the nape last November, an incident that put his basketball career in jeopardy.
Ryan Reyes finished with 20 points, eight rebounds, five rebounds and a PBA-record 10 steals to lead the Tropang Texters.
Ranidel de Ocampo added 18 points, Jimmy Alapag had 17, Jason Castro scored 13, and Kelly Williams chipped in 10. Larry Fonacier, the PBA Press Corps’ finals Most Valuable Player, finished with nine points, but Chot Reyes agreed with the decision.
“It was a perfect choice,” he said. “He was the only Talk ‘N Text player to play each of our games this conference and just being present was a blessing.”
It was undeniably a great run for Powerade, the eighth seed that shocked top-ranked B-MEG in the quarterfinals before outlasting Rain or Shine in seven games in the semis.
But the Tigers fell behind by 23 points early in Game Five. They never recovered from that huge deficit as the Tropang Texters were able to respond to every run that Powerade tried to mount.
Gary David, the Best Player of the Conference, had 37 points to lead the Tigers. Forward Sean Anthony added 22 points.
TALK N’ TEXT 110 – Reyes 20, De Ocampo 18, Alapag 17, Castro 14, Peek 13, Williams 10, Fonacier 9, Dillinger 7, Gamalinda 2, Carey 0.
POWERADE 101- David 37, Anthony 22, Casio 19, Lassiter 12, Adducul 4, Kramer 3, Crisano 3, Vanlandingham 1, Lingganay 0, Allera 0, Cruz 0.
Quarters: 30-16, 60-46, 85-64, 110-101