So the Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters are lobbying for another conference championship, once again dropping the Ginebra Gin Kings 91-84 at last night’s Game 4 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals. The Texters now lead the series, 3 games to 1.
Not only is the blue squad just a game away from clinching another conference title, but should they win tomorrow, the team will be one step closer in joining the select line of PBA teams who've brought home a grand slam; Crispa with 2, San Miguel with 1, and Alaska with 1. TNT can now seal the deal with Ginebra when they meet at Game 5 this Friday, May 6, at the Big Dome.
Even the ever-so-chaotic Ginebra fans know the team is not doing a hard enough job to outperform the mighty Texters, led by Best Player of the Conference Jimmy Alapag and Best Import runner-up Paul Harris, who led Game 4 with 26 points over Nate Brumfield’s 15.
“I’m sure I extended the guys to too many minutes and this was evident in the latter third and the whole fourth quarter,” Ginebra coach Jong Uichico explains. “If I had given them rest, the outcome would have been different. But it’s a decision I made and it backfired.”
Explain no further, coach. If anything, the Kings are capable of pulling off a heroic riposte, if only TNT ain’t that damn good. In all 35 years of the league, only Ginebra managed to comeback from a 3-1 series deficit, upsetting Shell in the 1991 Fiesta Conference Finals.
Such feat can strike twice for the Kings if the players who matter find their rhythm. Both Willie Miller and Ronald Tubid have been absent from finals action, respectively averaging 7 points during the first three games, and at their worst combined for 5 points during Game 3.
Not exactly expecting Ginebra to win it all at this point, but the Kings sure has some winning games left in them, at least TNT coach Chot Reyes believe that much. “Ginebra in a do-or-die situation is always a dangerous opponent, so we’ve got to be at our best,” he says.
If anything, the Tropang Texters have showed nothing but their best, having four different players accompany Paul Harris in the scoring leaders list in each of the four games played. Ginebra, on the other hand, just can’t keep relying on the Mark Caguioa show any longer.
Suffice to say that the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals is as good as done? That much we believe, unless the masses’ favorite cagers find the basketball phenomenon that brought them all this way to the finals. That much we believe can happen as well.