Jimmy Alapag saves the day for the Tropang Texters to take a commanding 3-0 lead against Rain or Shine.
With his team stuck in a dogfight, Jimmy Alapag hit two booming three-pointers that allowed Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters to break loose and defeat Rain or Shine, 89-80, in Game Three of the Philippine Cup finals Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
With the win, the Tropang Texters moved one step away from sweeping the series and winning their third straight all-Filipino crown.
“We put ourselves in a good position to win a championship,” said Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters coach Norman Black, who has a chance to win his 11th PBA title in his return to the pro league after leading Ateneo to five straight UAAP championships.
“If it ends up being a sweep, then so be it.”
The game was tied at 76-all before Jimmy Alapag, who finished with 15 points and four assists, had back-to-back hits from beyond the arc to break the game open. Those shots kicked off a 13-4 windup that sealed the game for the two-time defending champions.
Rain or Shine looked poised to get their first series victory, taking a 70-61 lead early in the fourth quarter behind Chris Tiu, who led the Elasto Painters with 14 points.
But their top guns Paul Lee and Jeff Chan were miserable from the field for the third straight game. Lee scored just seven points on 3-of-12 shooting, while Jeff Chan scored just three points after making just one shot in five attempts.
Jayson Castro led all scorers after scoring 12 of his 19 points in the first half.
Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters can seal the deal Wednesday in Game Four, also at the Big Dome.
TALK N’ TEXT 89 – Castro 19, Alapag 15, De Ocampo 13, Reyes 11, Williams 11, Carey 6, Dillinger 5, Fonacier 5, Peek 4, Aban 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 80 – Tiu 14, Cruz 11, Rodriguez 10, Arana 10, Ibanes 8, Lee 7, Belga 6, Norwood 5, Quinahan 4, Chan 3, Tang 2.
Quarters: 22-20, 42-39, 61-65, 89-80