The combined efforts of Jason Castro, Kelly Williams, Jared Dillinger, and Ranidel de Ocampo helped to surge the Tropang Texters ahead of their competition for the most part of the game. Then, Jimmy Alapag exploded in the final half of the game to build an 80-71 lead for his team. It proved enough as the Aces suffered a dry spell and could not recover from the deficit established by their opponent.
And the Texters prevailed and rose to the challenge as they made true with what Black promised to be a war on the court. The back-to-back defending champions defeated the Aces in an 83-78 fashion at the Cuneta Astrodome on January 4, Friday. This gives way to a battle of the champs with the Governor Cup champs Rain or Shine waiting to meet them at the finals.
Aside from chasing another trophy, the Tropang Texters are also out for a new record. If they succeed in winning the championship in the PBA Philippine Cup, they are going to be the first time to win this conference three in a row after the legendary Crispa Redmanizers team did so in 1983. Head coach Norman Black is confident they can do that, especially after surviving the tough series against the Aces.
But he isn't allowing himself to be clouded by the thought just yet. "Rain or Shine is a different package as far as competition is concerned," he adds. He also notes that "they're very physical inside both offensively and defensively."
While Talk N Text is chasing after their own record, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters are gunning for back-to-back titles on their own. Needless to say, it is going to be a big battle waiting ahead for these two teams.
Which team do you think will run away with the PBA Philippine Cup crown?