PBA: TEXTERS SAVOR VICTORY, SEEK COMMISH TITLE
[PHOTO - Members, officials and supporters of the Talk N Text team celebrate their victory in the All-Filipino Conference Friday. JUN MENDOZA]
MANILA, FEBRUARY 6, 2011 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran
– For the Talk n Text Tropang Texters, winning the PBA Philippine Cup crown is good, but not good enough to satisfy their craving for championship glory.
They want a quick follow-up on their all-Filipino title conquest, hoping to stretch their triumphant ride into the Commissioners Cup starting Feb. 18.
“Yes, we want to go back-to-back because we won the all-Filipino championship and we have a crack at that. We’re the only team which has a chance to do that,” said Talk n Text coach Chot Reyes.
“We have no time to celebrate. We’ll rest for only a week. We’ll rest, rejuvenate then return to practice. Our import has been here for a week and can’t wait to play,” Reyes added.
Paul Harris, a former Syracuse Orangeman who played for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA summer league in 2009, is the Texters’ import. He’s 24.
Reyes and team owner Manny Pangilinan expressed their longing to stay on top during the awarding of the Emilio “Jun” Bernardino Trophy at the Araneta Coliseum Friday night.
“Let’s make another run,” Reyes urged his troops.
“Practice at 2 p.m. tomorrow,” Pangilinan added in jest.
The Tropang Texters ended a two-year title drought, reclaiming the Philippine Cup as they clobbered the San Miguel Beer side, 95-82.
Talk n Text won the all-Filipino crown for the third time following earlier triumphs in 2002 and 2009.
Reyes, now a six-time champion coach, believes his team can only get better, and it can well have another good shot at the all-Filipino crown next year.
“Japeth Aguilar is joining us next year and we’ll have our draft pick. It’s a matter of finding ways to do better than what we’re doing,” Reyes said.
The sharp and articulate TnT mentor said right balance and right chemistry proved to be the key in their latest championship.
“It’s teamwork more than the talent,” he stressed.
“We used to be an offensive-oriented team. Our previous team won by outscoring the opponents. We re-engineered the team to get a good balance. It has become better defensively,” Reyes added.
“Our new guys like Kelly Williams, Ryan Reyes and even Aaron Aban are all good defensive players. The team has really improved on defense that we win games now by stopping the opponent.”
Reyes said his team limiting San Miguel to 77 points in Game Five and to 82 in Game Six was a tribute to their “D.”
Five Texters finishing with double-digit averages in the finals underscored the team’s offensive balance. Ranidel de Ocampo paced the team with 14, followed by Jason Castro (13.7), Jimmy Alapag (12.8), Ryan Reyes (12.2) and Harvey Carey (10.2).
Jared Dillinger, Ali Peek, Larry Fonacier and Kelly Williams also made impact.
Dillinger averaged 8.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists, Peek 8.0 points and 8.5 rebounds, Fonacier 6.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists and Williams 6.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals.
Reyes said their biggest motivation was putting together championship materials and watch them win.
After winning the Philippine Cup crown, Reyes said their mindset is to “stay humble and stay hungry.”
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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