Game Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
8 p.m. – Alaska vs Rain or Shine
Manila, Philippines – Talk ’N Text forced a do-or-die game with defending champion San Mig Super Coffee as the Tropang Texters won in overtime, 84-81, in their best-of-five semifinal series in the PLDT Home Telpad Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
TNT import Paul Harris, who sustained a cut below his left eye late in the second quarter, scored 22 points, including a layup that gave the Texters a five-point lead, 81-76, with 2:33 left in extra period.
The Texters were ahead, 84-81, after Jayson Castro split his free throws that gave the Mixers a chance to send the game to a second OT, but Joe Devance’s three-point try was off the mark as time expired.
Game 5 of the series is set tomorrow at the Big Dome.
“We did what we have to do, and that is to fight another day,” said Talk ’N Text Coach Norman Black, whose team also won Game 3 (112-86). “Now it all comes down to Friday. Right now it’s all about who has something left in the tank.”
Castro and Fonacier each scored 11 points apiece for TNT, which lost to San Mig Super Coffee in the Finals of the previous Commissioner’s Cup. Ranidel de Ocampo had nine points and 12 rebounds, while Harris added 13 boards.
James Yap, who connected on a running jumper to beat the buzzer that sent the game to overtime, led the Mixers with 23 points, while import Marqus Blakely had 12 points and 21 boards. Marc Pingris and PJ Simon also had 12 points each for the Mixers.
Meanwhile, coach Alex Compton said he felt he got older by two years because of the grind of being an Alaska mentor, but he doesn’t mind it so long as he can guide the Aces back to the finals right on his first try.
Put in the spotlight following the sudden resignation of former head coach Luigi Trillo, Compton hopes to fulfill his dream as the Aces shoot for a finals berth against the Rain or Shine Painters when they clash in Game 4 of their semis series today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I got older by two years,” said Compton with a hoarse voice moments after winning Game 3 on Tuesday, 104-94, that gave them a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five semis series.
Another win by the Aces in their 8 p.m. encounter with the Painters will give them their 27th finals appearance in the pro league and a shot for their 15th title. (Waylon Galvez)