Willie Miller and Joe Devance muffed a couple of charities each in the last 14 seconds of the ballgame as the Aces was held scoreless over the last 2:36 after coming back from a 63-76 deficit and forcing several ties, the last at 89-all.
“I felt I let the country down in Japan, so back then I wanted to take a break in coaching,”
Reyes related. “So for me, this is validation I made the right decvision and it reinforces my love of the game, what I do in my profession. Somewhat this erases the pain of that Tokushima debacle.”
Reyes thus became the first coach in league history to steer three different teams to the All-Filipino crown, after winning earlier in his career with Purefoods and Coca-Cola.
Mark Cardona, adjudged the Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP), led all scorers with 23 points on 8-of18 shooting from the floor. Jason Castro had a great all-around game, contributing 19 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.
“I thought before the game that If we get solid games from Jason and Yancy (de Ocampo), we have great chances of winning,” said Reyes. “We didn't get much from Yancy, but Jason is a big-game player.”
Ranidel de Ocampo had 12 points and 11 boards and Jimmy Alapag and Ali Peek 10 points each for the Tropang Texters.
Helping Cardona concentrate on the game was the fact Reyes forwarded him a text by Alaska coach Tim Cone apologizing for statements he made regarding the player's earlier taunts against the Aces.
“Kinamayan ko din after the game,” said Cardona, who said he looked at Cone's words as a form of prod.
“Mas na-motivate pa nga ako,” he said, before adding with a mischievous look: “Nagpapansin lang naman ako, e. Pinansin naman ako ni Tim Cone.”
Willie Miller led the Aces with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists, but shot only 3-of-8 from the line. Reynel Hugnatan added 17, Joe Devance 14 points and 14 boards, and LA Tenorio and Larry Fonacier 10 each.
Talk ‘N Text 93 - Cardona 23, Castro 19, de Ocampo R. 12, Alapag 10, Peek 10, Ritualo 9, Carey 7, de Ocampo 2, Dillinger 1, Aljamal 0.
Alaska 89 - Miller 22, Hugnatan 17, Devance 14, Tenorio 10, Fonacier 10, Ferriols 6, Thoss 4, dela Cruz 4, Cariaso 2.
Quarters: 20-23, 47-41, 73-63, 93-89.