JIMMY Alapag has played long enough in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) to know that long winning streaks won’t mean anything unless it leads to a championship.
And though Talk 'N Text extended its winning streak to 11 after drubbing Rain or Shine, 91-85, in Game One of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals, the former league MVP said the win simply meant the Tropang Texters had taken a 1-0 lead in the short best-of-five series.
“We’re not too conscious of our record. Our focus right now is to beat Rain or Shine because they are a tough team and a champion team,” Alapag said. “We’re happy to get the first game and now, our focus is on Wednesday (for Game Game).”
The 'Mighty Mouse,' averaging a career-low 8.0 points and 1.8 rebounds to go along with 5.1 assists this conference, spearheaded the Tropang Texters’ red-hot fourth quarter shooting that keyed the team’s mighty comeback from 10 points down.
The Gilas Pilipinas mainstay fired 11 of his 15 points in the final period, including three triples in a crucial late-game blitz.
“I got some great passes from Jason (Castro), and got free a couple of times from screens,” said Alapag. “With our team, the ball goes where it’s supposed to go. I was the one who got the open look in the fourth quarter and I’m happy to hit them (three-point shots)."
But the 35-year-old Talk ‘N Text playmaker expects the series to be a grind from start to finish, owing to the rugged and physical plays of the Elasto Painters.
“It’s gonna be a real grind-out, physical type of game. That’s what you expect in the semis because they are a tough team,” he said. “They have a deep bench who can score the basketball.”