(MENAFN - Arab News) Unbeaten still talk 'n text on friday night has gotten half of the job done in the pba commissioner's cup.
using the three-point shot as a lethal weapon the tropang texters broke away right from the get-go before fending off the walking wounded rain or shine elasto painters 99-91 for a sweep of their best-of-five series at the araneta coliseum in cubao.
ryan reyes made his first two three-point attempts and the texters hit seven of their first 10 to open up commanding leads right in the first period and use them as buffer in picking up their 13th straight win.
talk 'n text thus advanced to the 15th championship series appearance for the franchise-its first since winning the philippine cup last season when norman black first called the shots coming from a long stint with ateneo in the uaap.
either air21 or san mig coffee will be at the opposite end of the floor when the title series begins next week and both teams incidentally will break a 1-1 tie saturday afternoon when game 3 is played also at the big dome in cubao.
that game is slated at 5 p.m. with the mixers carrying all the momentum they need after an 84-75 triumph on wednesday where they led the express by as large as 20 points.
'our outside shooting has been the biggest factor for us the entire conference not just in this game" black told reporters when reminded of their three-point shooting. 'we rely on our three-point shooting a lot to win games.
'it's not something we planned at the beginning of the year but it is something that we use as a weapon to win games" he said after his texters shot 14-of-28 from beyond the arc for a percentage better than their 21-of-46 clip from two-point area.
reyes went on to hit five ranidel de ocampo jason castro and larry fonacier drained two each-most of them coming during crucial times when the painters tried doggedly hard to erase deficits that ballooned to as big as 17 points.
reyes' last two triples came inside the final five minutes the first giving the texters a 92-83 lead and the last a 97-85 bubble heading into the final 3:04.
rain or shine still had a chance after creeping to within 91-97 going into the final 73 ticks after a wayne chism basket. kelly williams though put the game away by nailing an off-balanced fallaway jumper from the free throw line for 99-91.
chism played with just one good leg coming off the bench after the first five minutes.
he was listed as doubtful after a bad landing in the second quarter of game 2 left his left knee swollen on wednesday.
'it was an extremely hard fought game. i thought both teams played very well" black said. 'i want to give chism a lot of credit. he came out despite a knee injury. he gave them a lift and helped them stay competitive in the game." no team in the 39-year history of the pba has ever won a championship by going undefeated in a conference.
the defunct crispa redmanizers won 19 straight games before tasting their first defeat at the hands of arch-rival toyota interestingly enough in the final game they needed to win to bag the 1980 all-filipino title.
richard howell went on to lead the texters with 26 points and 19 rebounds undoubtedly his best game of the series. four locals finished with at least 10 points to make it a totally balanced scoring effort for talk 'n text.
chism finished with 31 points 14 boards and five assists but with the painters already without three key locals in jervy cruz chris tiu and jr quinahan rain or shine simply didn't have the firepower to pull this one out.
paul lee the former rookie of the year also showed up under the weather and played just six minutes. he was scoreless.