PHONE  PALS  POST  ELECTRIFYING  WIN,  102-66

MANILA, February 5, 2005 
(STAR) By Nelson Beltran   -  Talk n Text came out fully charged and with clear connection all night long last night.

Playing with a sense of urgency and greater resolve to win, the Phone Pals walloped the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 102-66, to wheel back into the thick of the fight for the Gran Matador PBA Philippine Cup championship at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Phone Pals terribly outplayed the Kings without main man Asi Taulava and promised to work hard to duplicate the job for a possible equalizer at two-game-all in Game Four at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow in the same venue.

Rallying behind Taulava following the league boardís decision to uphold his continued suspension by the Commissionerís Office, the Phone Pals came out like panthers on the prowl, imposing their will on the badly-stunned Ginebra side from the opening tiff.

The Phone Pals started with a swashbuckling 21-4 run and never let up, sitting on a 54-32 cushion at halftime and had the game practically under wraps by the end of the third quarter with a 79-49 spread.

Willie Miller, whose first-ever triple-double performance in Game Two was put to naught by the Kings, returned with vengeance in his eyes last night, buckling down to work right in the opening quarter to set the pace for the Palsí early breakaway.

The former Letran ace went 4-of-5 from the field and made three assists in the first 12 minutes of play, and finished with 25 points, six rebounds, five assists and one steal in another remarkable all-round game.

Jimmy Alapag, Felix Belano, Yancy de Ocampo, Mark Telan and Vic Pablo also played big as the Phone Pals fashioned out the most lopsided win in a finals since Alaska Milk ripped San Miguel Beer, 99-61, in Game Six of the 1998 All-Filipino Cup finale.

The Phone Pals established a franchise-record winning margin of 36 while dealing the Kings the clubís biggest losing margin since an 84-115 blowout by the the Crispa Redmanizers in 1983.

"Inisip lang ng team na this is the start of the series at gusto namin na makauna kaagad," said Miller.

"Ginebra came out flat probably because itís coming off with a 2-0 lead in the series," said Talk n Text coach Joel Banal.

But whatever, Talk n Text jumped the gun on Ginebra and went on to outscore the Kings in all four quarters in a startling comeback from a 105-106 loss in Game Two Wednesday.

"We were outplayed. I was outcoached and I was not able to make the right adjustments," said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen as he again made no excuses in their defeat although it was obvious they started to feel the absence of injured ace guard Jayjay Helterbrand.

Rodney Santos started at the pointguard spot and played a total of 24 minutes despite a sprained ankle he suffered in Game Two. Minus Helterbrand and with Santos favoring an injured foot, Tanquingcen was forced to give second-string guard Aris Damaunahan (32 minutes) and even the sparingly-used Kim Valenzuela (18 minutes) extensive playing time.

Miller, Alapag and Belano outscored Santos, Dimaunahan and Valenzuela by 33 points, 54-17.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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