MANILA, Philippines – Alaska tied its series with Talk ‘N Text, holding down the defending champions, 104-99, in their best-of-7 semifinals duel at the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night.
Jayvee Casio scored 22 points, helping the Aces level the series with the Texters, 2-2.
The Aces got added scoring boost from Cyrus Baguio and Calvin Abueva.
Baguio had 18 points, while Abueva tallied a double-double with 15 markers and 11 rebounds.
Prior the victory, Alaska was trailing Talk ‘N Text in the series, 1-2.
“’Di kami pwedeng maiwan kaya ibinigay namin lahat talaga,” said Casio in the post-game interview.
The Aces’ win has cut the race down to a best-of-3.
Alaska coach Luigi Trillo said defense was their key in bagging their second semis victory against Talk ‘N Text.
“We know Talk 'N Text is an explosive team,” he said.
“We limited them to 18 points in the third, we know it's not gonna be easy against this team. Every game they come to play and it's a grind out kind of win again.”
The Texters’ scoring output throughout the game was held down to 40%.
Jimmy Alapag led Talk ‘N Text with 17, while Jason Castro added 16. Ranidel de Ocampo, who fouled out in the fourth, finished with 14.
The Texters were leading by just a hair at the half, 56-55.
Despite Abueva and Casio on the bench due to foul trouble, Alaska took an 81-74 lead going into the final quarter.
Talk ‘N Text fought back and chopped Alaska’s lead down to five, 94-99, with 1:15 remaining in the game.
But free throws from Casio and Dondon Hontiveros kept the Texters at bay.
Talk ‘N Text 104 - Casio 22, Baguio 18, Abueva 15, Hontiveros 13, Baracael 12, Espinas 9, Thoss 9, Reyes 2, Jazul 2, Dela Cruz 2, Eman 0
Alaska 99 - Alapag 17, Castro 16, De Ocampo 14, Fonacier 12, Carey 12, Williams 11, Reyes 9, Peek 5, Dillinger 2, Aban 1, Raymundo 0, Alvarez 0, Ferriols 0
Quarterscores: 30-25, 55-56, 81-74, 104-99