Prior to this game coach Tim Cone said that they are ready to defend their Grand Slam title in 1996. Unfortunately, in this game, they failed to stop the Talk 'n Text Tropang Texters (TNT) in their first meeting in the very short 2011 PBA Governor's Cup. They lost to TNT. The final score was 101-75 in favor of TNT. TNT now have 1 win and 0 losses while Alaska will have 0 wins and 1 loss.
TNT jumped into an early 17 point lead in the first quarter and from then on they never looked back to the Aces. The Aces were left eating the dust of TNT. With their 17 point run in the first quarter, TNT broke the run score record that was shared by San Miguel, Ginebra, Alaska and Red Bull. The score stands at 16 points straight. TNT showed their championship poise in this game. You can see on Kelly Williams' face that he and his teammates are determined to win a Grand Slam Title.
Because of that terrific start, TNT's coach, Chot Reyes said:
“I thought we came out really strong and did a good job setting the tone. It’s a good start. We really wanted to go out that way, except for some unforced errors we committed in the third quarter."
The Alaska Aces can't stop TNT's import Maurice Baker. The former Atenean, Wesley Gonzales, who is now with Alaska, tried to stop the 6'1 Maurice Baker of TNT but he failed. Baker's performance in this game reminds me of Mobiline's import in 1998, Silas Mills. They won the 1998 PBA Centennial Cup because of Mills' fine showing. Baker showed to all Tropang Texters' fans that he is the key to their most awaited Grand Slam Title. He had 17 points in this game.
The only sad thing that happened in this game for TNT was that Jimmy Alapag got injured in the start of the second half of this game. He accidentally landed on his teammate's foot. He hurt his right ankle. He didn't return in this game. If he suffered a serious injury, for sure it will sideline him for quite some time. TNT and Smart Gilas Pilipinas will surely be badly affected.
Thankfully, Alapag's injury didn't badly affect his teammates' confidence. Instead they were fired-up to do better in this game. Maurice Baker stepped up to lead TNT in this game. Ryan Reyes, Jason Castro a.k.a. The Blur, Aaron Aban a.k.a. Double A, Ranidel De Ocampo, and Machine Gun Kelly Williams carried the torch that was left by Jimmy Alapag. All of them scored in double digits to seal the deal for TNT. Ryan Reyes had 12 points and Kelly added 10 points in this game.
Chot Reyes further said:
“The guys were businesslike out there. They showed hunger.”
TNT capitalized on the 11 turnovers of Alaska. They translated those turn overs to 18 turn over points. That's the secondary reason why Alaska lost. The primary reason was that TNT has more hunger and more determination to get the lose balls or the 50:50 balls than the Aces.
To those who are stats geeks, here are the complete stats of this game which I got from PBA.ph.
Talk N' Text 101 - Baker 17, Reyes 16, Aban 14, Castro 11, Williams 11, De Ocampo 10, Fonacier 5,
Carey 5, Oreta 4, Alvarez 4, Peek 4, Yee 0, Lao 0, Alapag 0.
Alaska 75 - Baguio 20, Forte 16, Tenorio 12, Thoss 10, Dela Cruz 6, Reyes 4, Gonzales 4, Dimaunahan
3, Borboran 0, Eman 0, Cablay 0.
Quarters: 26-12, 50-32, 71-48, 101-75