Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Talk ‘N Text Sweep PBA Philippine Cup Finals Series, Individual Awards

When Talk ‘N Text won Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals series versus Rain or Shine last Sunday, January 13, head coach Norman Black vowed that they will try to close it out on Game 4, Wednesday, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. And so they did. The sweep is finally complete as the Texters won via a 105-82 blowout to realize their dream of winning three straight Philippine Cup championships, after about three decades since Crispa Redmanizers did so.

When asked about the secret to their success at the finals, coach Norman Black coyly said, “Talk N Text just played great basketball tonight. Sometimes, it happens.." As if they weren't already viewed as the powerhouse team in the PBA, Talk 'N Text had sealed their status as the current most dominant team in the league. 

Black's magic, therefore, carried on from the UAAP to the PBA wherein he came out fresh off of helping the Ateneo Blue Eagles achieve their historic five-peat. Jared Dillinger and Ranidel de Ocampo led the team to victory in Game 4, which helped to carry the team to another historic feat - they are only the fourth team in the league's history to sweep their opponent in the finals. 

Before the start of this finals series, expert sports analysts predicted a big match, which eventually turned out to be a huge mismatch as the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters failed to even score one. Norman Black refuses to discredit his opponent, though, saying: "No question Rain or Shine is tough, but the Alaska series helped us a great deal against them. We fought Alaska tooth and nail."

Meanwhile, Rain or Shine head coach took part of the blame for his team's inability to compete in the PBA Philippine Cup finals series. During his post-game interview, Yeng Guiao reveals, "It's my fault. I failed to prepare them the way they should've been prepared [against Talk 'N Text]".

Jason ‘The Blur’ Castro Named Best Player of the Conference


Jason Castro has just been crowned the Best Player of the Conference for 2012-13 PBA Phillipine Cup on January 16, the same day that his team swept their Finals series versus Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. The speedy point guard was the third overall pick during the PBA 2008 draft. Despite being fourth only in the statistical points but he obtained the highest number of votes from the players, media, and PBA officials.

Jason Castro garnered a total of 1,146 points while his teammate Ranidel de OCampo was a far second with 730 total votes. Third on the race was Alaska Aces rookie Calvin “The Beast” Abueva, as Arwind Santos and Sol Mercado round up the top five, with fourth and fifth place, respectively.

This will be the highest individual award or achievement for Jayson Castro since the start of his career in the PBA. During the 2010-2011 Philippine and Commissioner’s Cup finals, however, he was the co-awardee of the Finals MVP trophy.

Ranidel de Ocampo Named Finals MVP

Talk ‘N Text forward Ranidel de Ocampo was named Finals MVP after the series concluded last night to a 4-0 championship win for the Texters. During the finals series, de Ocampo registered an average point of 18, along with 8 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

De Ocampo could not hide the fact that he was surprised when his name was called upon the awarding of the Finals MVP award after the 105-82 win for his team. Before PBA Media Bureau President Mulong Castillo called out the name of the awardee, he asked the crowd who they thought won the award. Then, his teammates started chanting De Ocampo’s name led by former Finals MVP Jimmy Alapag.

But numbers don’t lie. Even when De Ocampo wasn’t expecting the award, his contributions to the team’s effort to win the finals was undeniable. Aside from his statistical average, he also chipped in an impressive 41.9 shooting percentage.

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