After a long semi-finals between Talk and Text and the Alaska Aces, resulting to Game 7, we finally bring home the bacon.
I have been a fan of Alaska since the time of Abarrientos and Cariaso, yes you bet, that is how long I’ve followed them. The last trading that happened between Miller and Baguio is maybe their lucky charm.
Baguio is indeed a good addition to Alaska in fighting a giant, seemingly unbeatable team like Talk and Text. Chot Reyes who is once an assistant coach of Tim Cone is very familiar with the triangle and zone defense of Alaska. Overall it was an interesting matchup between the best offensive team and the best defensive team in PBA. Alapag, as always, delivers important 3-point baskets which started the run for Talk and Text. Game 7 of this semifinals series is like a championship round. If there is one thing that Talk and Text could have improved on is the production of Castro, Harvey, Williams, Cardona and Dillinger, I felt that the latter is seldom used as he only played game 6 and 7, coming off the bench. Chot Reyes could have used Harvey or Dillinger to stop Diamond Simpson of Alaska. Cardona has been quiet and it seems that he lost the confidence in taking outside shots. I thought that Kelly Williams is not as a high flyer as he used to, he seldom slash on the basket and take outside shots.
If there is one thing I could be more proud of from the Alaska team is the quality minutes given by the bench people like Devance, Borboran and Fonacier. These players had been included on the rotation of the last 3 games of the semifinals. I watched Game 7 fully, which I had not done for the longest time of watching PBA. Alaska had dictated the tempo, not until the last minutes of the third quarter, where Talk and Text had brought the lead of Alaska from 18 down to 4 points only. The start of the 4th quarter is when Fonacier threw two 3-point baskets while Baguio’s stealing skill on the last 2 minutes ensures that Talk and Text cannot catch up. After this huge win of Alaska, they are now facing a bigger San Miguel team for the finals. Cone must use the height advantage of Eman and Sotto, since Thoss may not be playing for Finals. I am not expecting a championship, but it is always nice to see an underdog win on the series.