Texters Win Philippine Cup

THREE championships in four straight Finals appearances. Is Talk ‘N Text in the midst of a dynasty? Head coach Chot Reyes wouldn’t like to call it that way. “I don’t know if you can call that a dynasty,” he said. “For me it’s simply called sustained excellence. We’ve just found a way to constantly, continuously push ourselves and not be content with what we’ve achieved. “We just keep on going and going and going, and time and again, I call this a special kind of team.” The Tropang Texters, indeed, are an extra-special bunch of men. One defeat away from saying goodbye in the Philippine Cup, Talk ‘N Text still found a difficult way to bounce back against the very same team that denied the franchise of a rare Grand Slam last season – Petron. The Texters fought back from a 1-3 deficit in the semi-finals, only the third time that such a hard task was accomplished, before setting another milestone in PBA history for becoming the first team in 27 long years to defend an all-Filipino title since Great Taste in 1985. “Masakit ang pagkatalo namin  sa Grand Slam,” Reyes said. “We were two quarters away. Pero ito naman pala ang kapalit. This makes it just a lot sweeter.” The telecom franchise wrapped it all up in methodical, typical Talk ‘N Text manner. The Texters pounded Powerade early on, racing to a 23-point, 40-17 lead, before repelling every attempted comeback by the Tigers, a ball club that was seeking to complete a Cinderella finish after qualifying in the playoffs with the worst record. Game Five’s 110-101 victory was a testament that Talk ‘N Text was vastly superior in almost every department, particularly when it comes to players coming off the bench, something that the Tigers lack. How often do you see a bench team come out and contribute at least 42 points a night in a championship series? Not always. Talk ‘N Text was so dominating in bench points that it was able to produce a whopping 312 points throughout the five-game series, 249 more than what Powerade could muster (63). Larry Fonacier, who was named the Bayad Center-PBA Press Corps Finals MVP, was the model player in that department. He averaged a team-best 16 points to go with six rebounds and 3.2 assists, his first major individual award since winning Rookie of the Year honors in 2005-06 after being picked just 14th overall by Red Bull in the Draft. But then again, Reyes would like to give emphasis on what he calls ‘special moments’ for the triumph. “I believe championships are made of special moments. The tragedy of Ali Peek, who was shot I believe on Nov. 9, and the 1-3 deficit against Petron in the semi-finals were the ones that carried us here. “We looked each other in the eye after that 1-3 deficit and said that this is not over. All we talked about was not to waste this opportunity. We will never know when we will come back here again.” As balloons of red, blue and yellow fell from the rafters Sunday night, the Texters basked in the glory celebrating a fifth franchise championship, four coming under Reyes. Reyes, on the other hand, tied Jong Uichico with the most number of titles with eight behind Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan’s 15, Tim Cone’s 13, and the 10 of Norman Black. Now, the drive to win more is still pumping. “All that’s in our minds is the next conference,” said Reyes, who will have import Omar Samhan, a veteran European League center, for the Commissioner’s Cup that kicks off on Feb. 10. “All we want is to make it deep into the next conference once more,” Reyes said. Maybe with the kind of special team Talk ‘N Text has, it can have a shot at another Grand Slam again. Via (Journal Online)

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