MANILA, Philippines – Defending champion Talk ‘N Text edged Alaska, 66-65, to secure Game 1 of their best-of-7 semifinals duel in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday.
The Aces nearly succeeded in beating the Texters in their low-scoring game if not for Ryan Reyes’ booming triple 14.3 second left in the fourth quarter.
Talk 'N Text's Jason Castro (R) being harassed by Alaska's defenders in Game 1 of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals clash. The Texters squeaked past the Aces, 66-65. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
Alaska desperately tried to claw back but they didn’t have enough time left to turn the game around.
“It was a very difficult win for us. Hats off to Alaska for playing us tough,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black in the league’s official website. “Now we have to go back to the drawing board and see what Alaska did to us.”
“Alaska did a lot of things that slowed us down,” he added.
Aces coach Luigi Trillo agreed with Black.
He said Game 1 showed what his boys could do against a championship-winning team like Talk ‘N Text.
“Overall, it gives me hope,” said Trillo.
“If you want a team to idolize, it’s Talk ‘N Text, the way they have dominated this league the past two, three years,” he added. “But we showed we can stay with them and even have a chance to win in the end.”
Jason Castro topscored for the Texters with 17 points to go with his 11 rebounds. Ranidel de Ocampo added 11 points.
Sonny Thoss paced Alaska with a double-double effort of 14 points and 14 rebounds.
RJ Jazul churned out 11 points, while Calvin Abueva netted 10 and a game-high 17 boards.