PBA:  PALS,  THUNDER  FORCE  SUDDEN  DEATH

MANILA, June 26, 2004
 
(STAR)
y Nelson Beltran  -  Talk n Text brandished lethal outside offensive to torch Barangay Ginebra with a league-record 17 treys last night, hacking out a 116-106 victory to force a deciding Game Three in their Gran Matador PBA Fiesta Conference semifinal showdown at the Philsports Arena.

Drawing tremendous firepower from their deadly outside shooting, the Phone Pals controlled the tempo of the game most of the way and avoided an endgame foldup that hastened their 95-100 defeat in the series opener.

"They’re always giving us an open look from the three-point area. I only told the boys a wide-open three-point shot is a good three-point shot," said Talk n Text coach Joel Banal.

Jerald Honeycutt banged away a conference-high eight triples, Willie Miller and Jimmy Alapag combined for five while Victor Pablo, Patrick Fran, Felix Belano and Bong Ravena chipped one apiece as the Phone Pals recorded the most number of treys any team has made in a 48-minute regulation game.

Shooting 51.5 percent from the arc, the team missed by only one trey the record posted by Presto versus Alaska Milk in a game that went into overtime last Nov. 2, 1989. Allan Caidic, curiously now the Ginebra team manager, made an individual league high of 15 triples in that contest.

Talk n Text fired at least one three-pointer in every quarter and went on to outscore Ginebra, 51-24, from the three-point zone. The team averaged only six triples a game before last night’s tiff.

The Talk n Text mentor, however, thought their aggressive game on both ends of the floor was the key.

"I hope we can come out very aggressive again on Sunday. Otherwise, this victory would mean nothing," said Banal.

Red Bull Barako, which picked up its game a little late Wednesday, played aggressively from the opening tip and scored a 95-88 rout of Coca-Cola to also force a sudden death in their own semis series.

The Thunder tied a league-record 16-0 opening blast and never let up, utterly dominating the Tigers in an astounding comeback from an 87-91 defeat in the series opener.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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