Gilas playmaker Jimmy Alapag is known as a pass-first point guard in the Philippine Basketball Association, but he has also proven that he can hit big shots when Talk 'N Text needs him the most.
The "Mighty Mouse" had proven that when he found himself on the receiving end of several dishes on Saturday night and hit timely baskets from the outside that put the dagger on San Miguel's heart in route to a pulsating win by the Tropang Texters over the Beermen , 103-97, in the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup.
Alapag had a conference-high of 18 points, highlighted by five triples which was mostly made during clutch times. The 5-8 diminutive point guard and Gilas teammate Jayson Castro gave ample support to import Rodney Carney as the Tropang Texters hold off some late rallies by the Beermen.
“Coach (Norman Black) has been urging me to be a little bit more aggressive offensively,” Alapag sad. “But it’s tough. My mindset during a game is always to get the ball to my guys because I understand we have a lot of weapons on the court.”
Alapag, who has been averaging more than five assists in his previous three games, was glad that teammtes Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, and Larry Fonacier made a conscious effort to locate him for once.
"I think they did a great job in finding me through San Miguel’s rotations and I was fortunate enough to make those shots,” the Gilas Pilipinas standout said.
But Alapag still humbly admit that it was not him who made the victory but the big men of Talk 'N Text who shut down Gilas teammate June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel. Big men Noy Baclao, Rob Reyes, Kelly Williams, and De Ocampo help together in shackling down "The Kraken" in the fourth quarter.
The leading MVP candidate Fajardo was held scoreless in the final period after bullying his way for 20 points in the first three periods. Fajardo was being bullied all throughout the game by his big men counterpart especially Baclao who made some key defensive plays on him.
“I thought they did a really good job of just making it difficult for June Mar, who’s arguably the best big guy in our league today,” Alapag said. With how the Tropang Texters are playing, it seems that they are destined to go back to the Finals once again.
Talk 'N Text made it to the Finals in the last Commissioner's Cup going undefeated entering the championship match but was denied by San Mig Super Coffee Mixers of a title in game 4 of the best-of-five affair. --- with reports from Spin.ph
Pass-first Gilas playmaker Jimmy Alapag delivers once again in clutch situations for Talk 'N Text
Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on