PBA FIESTA: FIERY ACES FORCE GAME 7
MANILA, JULY 19, 2007 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran - Willie Miller showed why he was the season’s best last night, and Alaska Milk clobbered Talk n Text, 121-110, to force a Game Seven in their Talk n Text PBA Fiesta Cup title playoff at the Araneta Coliseum.
Miller erupted for a career-high 37 points as he redeemed himself from his lackluster six-point showing Sunday and personally foiled the Pals’ first crack at closing out the series.
The season MVP awardee buckled down to work early and starred in Alaska’s amazing 22-to-nothing romp in the second quarter that fuelled the Aces’ charge after a sluggish start.
Surging ahead at 44-34 after that torrid attack, the Aces sustained the momentum up to the finish for the convincing victory that forced the rubber match tomorrow at the Astrodome.
Alaska is 3-3 and Talk n Text 0-2 on Game Seven showdowns.
With their backs against the wall, the Aces played with great resolve, leading by as many as 22 points at 98-76 with 11:08 left to play.
The Pals waged a determined chase at endgame but could come no closer than nine in the stretch.
“Willie was awesome tonight and the team played a real good aggressive game,” said Alaska coach Tim Cone.
“But all we did was get it to a Game Seven. We’ve accomplished nothing yet. I hope we keep our feet on the ground. Hopefully, we can come out and play the same way we played tonight,” Cone added.
Miller went 14-of-28 from the field and 7-of-10 from the stripe as he improved his previous career-best 33 points he made when he was still with Talk n Text.
Rosell Ellis also came through with a solid game with 22 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists with Reynel Hugnatan adding 20 points and Nic Belasco 14.
The Aces took a 56-45 lead at the half, riding the momentum of a 22-0 to start the second quarter.
It was the largest run by any team in a PBA finals since Barangay Ginebra came through with a 32-0 attack against Shell in their 1991 First Conference title playoff.
The Aces went ahead 44-34 after the fiery salvo presided over by Miller, John Ferriols and Ellis.
The Pals took the opening quarter at 34-22 but went scoreless in the first seven minutes of the second period, breaking the spell on two charities by J.J. Sullinger.
Talk n Text made only 11 in the second quarter on an atrocious 3-of-14 field-goal shooting and 5-of-9 marksmanship from the stripe.
Alaska, on the other hand, hit at a 53.6 percent clip in the second period, scoring 11 points off Talk n Text’s six errors.
“We struggled at the start because they were so pumped up with a chance to close out the series. But we played with so much energy and never gave up until we seized control,” said Cone.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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