(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:15 p.m. – Alaska vs Meralco
7 p.m. – Globalport vs Purefoods
For Talk ’N Text’s mentor Jong Uichico, it wasn’t just the game-winning basket of Calvin Abueva that doomed the Tropang Texters in their thrilling encounter with the Alaska Aces in the PBA Philippine Cup last Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Abueva’s floater at the buzzer only sealed the game’s outcome and capped Alaska’s amazing comeback, but Uichico cited another major factor for TNT’s 100-98 loss.
“We’ve got beaten off the boards, that’s all there is to it,” said Uichico who replaced Norman Black as TNT coach.
The statistics supported Uichico’s frustration. Alaska hauled down 61 rebounds while Talk ‘N Text had just 39.
Abueva’s winning basket put Alaska in a four-way tie for the lead with San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra and Meralco at 2-0, while TNT dropped to 1-2.
Uichico also praised the heroics of Abueva, who also had career highs with 26 points and 22 rebounds in 33 minutes.
“That’s 26 and 22,” said the 52-year-old Uichico on the effort and hustle plays of Abueva, who sparked Alaska’s comeback from 18 points down (75-57) midway in the third period.
Talk ’N Text had a chance to win the game with the score tied at 98-all.
Uichico designed a play for their best offensive player Jayson Castro to attack the basket. However, Jvee Casio deflected the ball from Castro, and Dondon Hontiveros grabbed the loose ball before feeding it to a streaking Abueva.
Uichico said that if TNT had controlled the boards, a meltdown would have been avoided.
The most glaring number in the rebounding battle came on the offensive boards, with the Aces collaring 26, (13 coming from Abueva). The Texters only grabbed six.
Alaska’s Vic Manuel added 12 rebounds, while big man Sonny Thoss got seven. TNT’s top rebounder was Jay Washington with seven boards.
Despite the loss, Uichico remains upbeat and is glad veteran guard Jimmy Alapag will join the team’s practice starting today at the Moro Lorenzo Gym in Ateneo.
“He’ll start practicing tomorrow (today). But we really don’t know when he’ll play. It’s really up to Jimmy… it depends on how he feels, his timing. We want it soon but we don’t want to force him,” said Uichico.
Alapag has missed three games after getting an extended rest for playing four months with Gilas Pilipinas.
RAIN OR SHINE 117 – Lee 22, Belga 16, Tang 15, Cruz Jericho 12, Teng 12, Cruz Jervy 12, Uyloan 10, Quinahan 6, Almazan 6, Ibanes 4, Chan 2, Norwood 0.
KIA 88 – Cervantes 18, Padilla 17, Revilla 10, Lingganay 10, Thiele 7, Dehesa 4, Alvarez 4, Pascual 4, Raymundo 4, Buensuceso 3, Alonzo 2, Saldua 2, Burtscher 2, Ighalo 1, Bagatsing 0.
Quarterscores: 36-25, 59-46, 81-65, 117-88
NLEX 97 – Cardona 25, Villanueva J. 14, Canaleta 13, Ramos 10, Apinan 10, Taulava 9, Baloria 8, Borboran 6, Raymundo 2, Camson 0, Villanueva E. 0, Arboleda 0, Villarias 0.
GINEBRA 81 – Ellis 19, Aguilar 17, Slaughter 13, Caguioa 8, Mamaril 6, Tenorio 4, Urbiztondo 3, Helterbrand 3, Yeo 3, Baracael 3, Brondial 2, Forrester 0, Reyes 0.
Quarterscores: 18-20, 34-34, 62-66, 97-81