PBA: TALK N TEXT STEALS GAME ONE IN OT

TALK N TEXT VS PHONE PALSManila, June 21, 2003 By Nelson Beltran (STAR) Talk N Text came out like a thief in the night, stealing an otherwise won game from the hands of a stunned Alaska Milk team in Game One of their Samsung PBA All-Filipino Cup best-of-five semifinal showdown at the Philsports Arena last night.

The Phone Pals overcame a six-point deficit in a stirring comeback in the last 18.5 seconds of regulation play and simply outplayed the Aces in overtime, pulling off a decisive 115-109 victory in the contest halted for nearly an hour by power failure early in the third quarter.

Asi Taulava, Harvey Carey and Jimmy Alapag played their usual roles but Patrick Fran relegated them to the background at endgame with the reserve guard out of Santo Tomas nailing two triples that told on the outcome of the contest.

Franís first trey with four-tenths of a second left in regulation forced the overtime at 100-all and the second clinched the win for the Phone Pals at 112-106 with 24 seconds left in extra period.

"The boys wanted it and they didnít want to quit. That was the story of the contest," said Talk N Text coach Joel Banal after the match that lasted for three-and-a-half hours because of power outtage spawned by the heavy downpour.

Fran shed tears in the post-game interview, saying he remembered his father who departed last year. "Lahat ng games ko pinanood niya, sayang hindi ko naipakita ang larong ito sa kanya," he said.

For a while, it appeared Alaska had won the game when it led by six at 98-92 following two free throws by Mike Cortez with only 18.5 ticks left in the game.

But the Phone Pals refused to give up with Banal suing for timeout. Mark Telan buried a three-pointer right at resumption of play then after John Arigo split his charities, Alapag scored on a drive that closed the gap at 97-99.

A quick foul by Telan on Don Allado gave two free throws to the Alaska slotman but he flubbed the rear end of his charities that paved that way for the Fran triple.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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