RANIDEL de Ocampo buried a wide-open three-point shot while Jimmy Alapag hit two crucial free throws to preserve Talk ‘N Text’s gut-wrenching 121-117 overtime victory over a hard-fighting Alaska side in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Tropang Texters had six players breaking into double-figure scoring led by Kelly Williams’ personal conference-high 18 points and 10 rebounds in a game of game of wildly changing fortunes that was too close to call up until the final seconds of overtime during the Petron Saturday special.
However, the biggest shot of the night was clearly De Ocampo’s dagger triple, which bounced on the front end of the rim before mercifully dropping into the hole to push Talk ‘N Text ahead for good, 119-115 with 35.6 ticks to go.
Alaska veteran slotman Sonny Thoss, who scored a career-high 30 points, managed to score underneath after battling for the rebound on the other end, cutting the lead to two points.
But with Alapag nailing a pair of foul shots at the other end off JV Casio’s foul, followed by a desperation three-point miss by Alaska rookie guard Chris Exciminiano, Talk ‘N Text went on to escape with its seventh win in 10 games this conference.
“Tough win, good win and a much-needed win because it helps us to gain momentum in our next game against Air21,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black after the game that tied his team with idle Rain or Shine for a share of third spot.
Black felt the win was a huge bounce back from the team’s 91-105 loss to Petron Blaze to close out 2013.
“It (win) also helps us bounce back from our demoralizing loss to Petron,” he said.
Black made special mention of Williams, whose energy and hustle in 38 minutes of play provided the much-needed lift for the Tropang Texters.
“We had a lot of heroes tonight. But I’d like to mention Kelly Williams. He played with a lot of energy for 38 minutes. He gave us a big lift to give us a chance to win the basketball game,” added the multi-titled coach.
Williams returned to action only at the start of the PBA’s 39th season since taking a seven-month medical leave of absence.
Alaska dropped to 4-7 in a tie with idle Barako Bull for seventh place, endangering the Aces' playoff hopes with three games left in their schedule.
Talk 'N Text 121 – Williams 18, Reyes 17, De Ocampo 16, Castro 16, Fonacier 14, Anthony 13, Seigle 9, Carey 8, Alapag 5, Reyes J. 3, Baclao 2.
Alaska 117 – Thoss 30, Jazul 18, Espinas 18, Baguio 17, Casio 11, Abueva 9, Ramos 7, Eximiniano 3, Dela Cruz 2, Eman 2, Hontiveros 0.
Quarterscores: 26-26; 48-40; 83-80; 108-108; 121-117