MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Three-peat seeking Talk ‘N Text secured the remaining ticket to the PBA Philippine Cup finals by outgunning Alaska, 83-78, to end their semis showdown in Game 6.
Jimmy Alapag scored all of his 15 points in the second half as he towed the Texters back to their sixth finals appearance in seven conferences.
“It's a blessing to be back to the finals,” said Alapag, also known as “Mighty Mouse,” who dished out three assists.
“Alaska is a great, great young team, they fought us tooth and nail… Alaska has given us fits the last two weeks.”
Although Talk ‘N Text zoomed to a 25-18 lead in the first period, they needed the extra effort to hold off the tenacious Alaska in the next three quarters.
Led by Calvin Abueva, the Aces managed to trim down the Texters’ advantage to 64-62 going into the final period.
But Talk ‘N Text unleashed a 7-2 run to hike their lead to 80-71 with three minutes left.
The Texters concluded the best-of-seven series, 4-2.
“My guys really wanted this, they really want to get back to the finals, we've put a lot of hard work to it,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black.
Jason Castro top-scored for Talk ‘N Text with 16 points, while Jared Dillinger and Kelly Williams each had 11.
Abueva paced Alaska with 23 points. Gabby Espinas scored 13, while Jayvee Casio was held to 10.
The Texters will face Yeng Guiao’s Rain or Shine, which finished off San Mig Coffee in the other semifinals showdown.
The best-of-seven finals begins Wednesday next week.
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.
Quarters: 25-18, 42-41, 64-62, 83-78