MANILA, Philippines - Petron Blaze slammed Talk n Text’s grand Triple Crown aspiration, completing a dream ride of its own with a resounding 85-73 victory that netted the proud SMC franchise PBA championship banner No. 19 to the roaring approval of its throngs at the Smart last night.
The Boosters effectively prevented the Tropang Texters’ entry to the elite ranks of grand slam winners in the league, stealing the thunder in grabbing the season-ending Governors Cup championship.
Six months after losing the Philippine Cup crown to the Texters, the Boosters exacted their revenge – so sweet scored for a team down to 10 in the end.
The Boosters, nonetheless, didn’t run out of heroes and, at the final , held aloft a first crown in two years.
Arwind Santos churned out a 14th double-double (16 points and 16 rebounds) and Alex Cabagnot came through with a near triple double (12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists), and both experienced a first ever championship in the pro league.
Old vanguard Danny Ildefonso was a star in his prime, contributing 13 points, seven rebounds, two steals and one assist as he won an eighth PBA crown.
Anthony Grundy was right there at the forefront, redeeming himself from a five-point showing in Game Six with 26 points and seven rebounds in this no-tomorrow game.
Santos, who averaged huge double-double numbers in the series, won the Phoenix Finals MVP award.
The former FEU stalwart saved his best for last, highlighting his sterling act with a breakaway two-handed jam to eventually break the back of Talk n Text, 81-73, inside the final minute.
“Kami ngayon ang pinakamasayang tao sa mundo (We’re now the happiest people on earth),” said Santos during the awards rites.
Santos and company, undermanned minus Jay Washington, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Joseph Yeo and Lordy Tugade, hacked out an improbable title run handing coach Ato Agustin a championship right in his first season as tactician in the pros.
“Nagkamali sila at kami ang pinili nila (They committed a mistake in choosing us to play in the finals),” said Agustin, believing Talk n Text deliberately dropped its last game in the semifinals to have Petron, instead of Barangay Ginebra, as finals opponent.
Agustin became the eighth personality to have won as player and coach in the PBA after Fort Acuna, Robert Jaworski, Rino Salazar, Ely Capacio, Joel Banal, Siot Tanquincen and Norman Black.
And after Jaworski, he’s the second MVP winner to become a champion coach.
“We worked hard to avenge our first and we worked hard to defend the ranks of grand slam champion teams,” said Agustin, a member of the 1989 San Miguel Triple Crown winner.
Striking hard on their own kick-and- plays, the Boosters opened an early huge lead at 27-13 nine minutes into .
Denok Miranda scored their first seven points then Grundy, Santos, Ildefonso and Cabagnot put their act together as the Petron starters combined for all the team’s 28 points in the first period and all 12 in the second.
Ranidel de Ocampo and Maurice Baker took the cudgels for the Texters in the second period, making nine and eight, respectively, as TnT came to within six, 34-40, at the half.
The Boosters were still enjoying a double-digit spread at 34-24 before losing momentum on a flagrant infraction by Jojo Duncil on Baker.
Baker drew a hard foul from Sunday Salvacion in the next play and the Talk n Text import nailed four straight charities to make it a close game through the half.
Talk n Text had a chance to make it a four-point game at the turn but Santos blocked a dunk attempt by De Ocampo in the closing seconds.The Boosters set the pace in the first half with a 41.7-percent shooting as against the Texters’ 31-percent clip.
source : PhilStar