[PHOTO - BACKCOURT WONDERS: Talk n Text’s Jimmy Alapag throws a pass to an open teammate under pressure from Beerman Alex Cabagnot during Game 4 of their title series. The Beermen won, 91-87. JUN MENDOZA]

MANILA, FEBRUARY 2, 2011 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran - San Miguel Beer and Talk n Text fight for the pivotal victory tonight with the drama-fraught best-of-seven championship showdown taking a new twist -- the once embattled Beermen riding the momentum of a two-game streak and the once scrappy Texters trying to check their skid.

Game Five of the PBA Philippine Cup finals is set at 7 p.m. with another huge crowd expected to fill the Big Dome.

Now in a spirited race to the finish, both teams look to jump out of the starting block in the battle for the decisive go-ahead win in a series reduced to best-of-three.

A momentum shift in the series following back-to-back wins by San Miguel could well give the Beermen the edge over the Texters in Game Five.

San Miguel fashioned out a 103-82 rout of a Ryan Reyes-less Talk n Text side in Game Three then returned to make it two in a row with a 91-87 decision in Game Four.

That was the first time in the tourney that Talk n Text was beaten in two successive games.

Coach Ato Agustin and his troops are convinced they can go all the way to win the championship if they can keep their impressive game going.

SMB team captain Olsen Racela said they have figured out how to beat Talk n Text and all they have to do is to sustain their winning effort.

Agustin said he wouldn’t be surprised if they make it four in a row.

“Kapag ganito ang ilalaro namin, baka i-derecho namin (If we continue to play this way, we can make it four straight),” said Agustin moments after their Game Four win.

Talk n Text coach Chot Reyes said his frontline must show up or their title bid will be good as over,

“Kelly Williams and Ali Peek have taken a vacation. They’re non-existent in the last two games. Maybe, they thought the series was over,” said Reyes.

“We need to put out these missing persons. We can’t beat San Miguel if they don’t show up,” Reyes added.

Williams and Peek were non-factors in the last two games, limited to a measly combined output of five points in Game Three and eight in Game Four.

Jay Washington and Danny Ildefonso have been on a roll, dominating their TnT counterparts in the last two games.

Agustin has been egging his veterans particularly Ildefonso, Racela and Danny Seigle to prove they still have what it takes to compete and win.

The SMB veterans have been responding well to their coach’s call.

And in a series down to a best-of-three affair, these old warriors believe they’ve got the edge over Talk n Text.

NOTES: Air21 has chosen Jajuan Smith as its import for the second conference. Smith is a teammate of Talk n Text’s Paul Harris in the NBA D-League..... Alaska Milk’s Eddie Basden can’t play as he measured one-fourth of an inch over the 6-foot-4 height limit.....Powerade has acquired JR Quinahan in exchange for the team’s 2012 second round pick and 2013 first round pick.

Pacquiao-Mosley ringside tickets fetch P.3M each By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) Updated February 02, 2011 12:00 AM Comments (2)

MANILA, Philippines - They’re buying and selling tickets like it’s Manny Pacquiao’s farewell fight.

“Incredible. Simply incredible,” said Top Rank chief and promotional guru Bob Arum yesterday after 16,000 tickets to the May 7 fight between Pacquiao and Shane Mosley were sold inside three hours.

It was like selling 88 tickets a minute or easily one for every second.

“I have never promoted a fight that has sold so many tickets so quickly,” Arum told philboxing.com <http://philboxing.com> upon hearing the news of what may be considered as panic-buying for tickets to the coming fight.

The fight is set at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Tickets were priced at $1,000, $750, and $300, and are limited to 10 to a person. There are only a thousand left with three months to the fight.

The selling of the tickets at the MGM Grand ran from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday (US time) and it was described as “one of the biggest ticket runs in Las Vegas boxing history.”

Almost immediately, some tickers were already on the Internet with the lowest priced at $450 (almost P20,000) and the highest at $8,665 (an unbelievable P381,000).

Yes, a ringside ticket for the Pacquiao-Mosley fight (Floor E from Rows 1 to 4) for almost the price of a small car, brand-new.

Get a Floor E ticket, the ones now selling for P381,000 each, and you may end up seated beside Denzel Washington or Mariah Carey, facing the camera, your face beamed worldwide.

It will be Pacquiao’s first fight in Las Vegas since 2009 when he fought and destroyed Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand, also the venue of the fights against Ricky Hatton and Oscar dela Hoya.

Pacquiao fought his last two fights against Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito outside of Sin City, at the massive Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, and now he’s returning to Las Vegas, the gambling capital.

Everybody wants to be part of the show.

“Manny Pacquiao never ceases to amaze the world with his achievements. The excitement he generated today with the initial ticket sales makes it feel like fight week already,” Arum said.

He must be grinning from ear to ear, with the tickets almost sold out, and the press tour still more than a week ahead with stops in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York and Washington.

With tickets almost gone, the pay-per-view sales, over Showtime, will be the next target.

Arum, for sure, won’t have any problem with that as well.

Now, who says this fight is garbage?

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved