JVEE Casio banged in a crucial driving layup then watched Larry Fonacier’s potential game-tying jumper rim out as time expired as the Alaska Aces pulled off a 94-92 victory over erstwhile unbeaten Talk ‘N Text in a PBA Philippine Cup Friday night thriller at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The former La Salle deadshot took over in the final period, hitting 12 of his game-high 25 points in a display of three-point shooting that erased the Tropang Texters’ 11-point lead on the way to giving the Aces their fifth straight win after opening the season with back-to-back losses.
Defense proved to be the key for the Aces, particularly in the final six minutes of the game when they held the Tropang Texters to a single field goal.
“JVee Casio, what can you say? The game was out of hand and he singlehandedly made us so good in this moment. You’re down big but you refuse to lose. Nice to see them (Aces) claw back,” said coach Luigi Trillo after the Aces ended a seven-game losing streak to Talk ‘N Text dating back to the 2010 Fiesta Conference.
The Tropang Texters, who won their first six outings under comebacking PBA coach Norman Black, finished the game shooting just 29-of-76 from the field for 38.2 percent.
Talk ‘N Text managed to dominate the boards, 50-32 behind its veteran frontline of Ranidel de Ocampo, Ali Peek, Harvey Carey and Kelly Williams.
“I thought coach Norman put a good play in the end. I thought they did a good job defensively.They (Tropang Texters) did well and worked well,” added Trillo.
“Di kami maka-set, but JV just took over. It’s no joke when you go up against Jason Castro and Jimmy Alapag. They had open shots but they couldn’t make it in the end.”
While the Aces managed to put an end to the Tropang Texters’ six-game winning run to start the season, Trillo chose to play down their dramatic win.
“It’s just one game. You know in the PBA, you can’t be too excited about certain things. But who wouldn’t want to beat a top team. Talk ‘N Text in the past three years have won three of the last four championships,. They know how to win. We haven’t beaten them since 2010” said Trillo.
"For us to do this, after starting the season 0-2, who would think we would have a chance to beat a champion team like Talk ’N Text?"
The Aces now move up to solo second place with their 5-2 record, behind the Tropang Texters’ 6-1 slate.
Alaska 94 - Casio 25, Baguio 16, Abueva 14, Thoss 13, Jazul 8, Baracael 6, Hontiveros 6, Espinas 4, Reyes 2, Dela Cruz 0, Belasco 0
Talk ‘N Text 92- Alapag 17, De Ocampo 15, Reyes 13, Williams 13, Peek 11, Castro 10, Fonacier 5, Gamalinda 3, Aban 3, Carey 2
Quarter scores: 29-20, 52-45, 68-73, 94-92