BOTH Jason Castro and Jared Dilinger did not expect a Talk `N Text sweep of Rain or Shine in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
But they echoed experience and the big men of the Tropang Texters as the two major keys behind the team winning a historic third straight All-Filipino championship.
Castro, adjudged the Best Player of the Conference, gave credit to veterans Ali Peek, Harvey Carey, Ranidel de Ocampo, Kelly Williams, and the rest of Talk `N Text’s big men for not backing down to the Elasto Painters’ fearsome `Extra Rice Inc’ of Beau Belga and JR Quinahan.
“Hindi ko ini-expect na 4-0 ang series,” said Castro, who finished with six points, five rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block during the title-clinching 105-82 win in Game Four on Wednesday night before a crowd of 17,000 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Actually ang mga big men namin ang gumawa. Sobrang na-appreciate ko yung ginawa nila kasi yung Rain or Shine
yung mga big men nila they play from the outside kaya nag-adjust sila. Ayun sila na ang nagdala sumunod na lang kami,” he added.
De Ocampo, the Finals MVP, Peek and Williams combined for 49 points in steering the Tropang Texters to the biggest winning margin in a championship game since Game Six of the Commissioner's Cup title series between Gordon’s Gin and Alaska in 1997.
“Big men namin talaga ang nag-spell ng difference, na-close out nila ang mga three points nila (Rain or Shine),” said Castro.
In contrast, Belga and Quinahan only came through with a combined 13 points.
For Dilinger it was Talk `N Text’s championship experience that made the difference.
“Yes, (it was championship experience) we’ve been here a couple of times already,” he said.
The Talk `N Text forward also didn’t fail to recognize the leadership of coach Norman Black and the other veteran players who had been with the team before such as Carey and Jimmy Alapag.