Seven-time champion Talk ‘N Text is keen to extend its Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) dominance.
Coach Jong Uichico said that he hopes their victory over worthy contender Rain or Shine in the recently concluded PBA Commissioner’s Cup would lead to more championship victories.
The Tropang Texters escaped with a close 121-119 double-overtime triumph against Rain or Shine in Game Seven.
“It’s something new to me. To win a championship sa Talk ‘N Text. Hopefully more championships. This is a new chapter in my life. It’s nice, isang magandang kuwento na I can just run through my mind all the time. I’m happy to get back and win championships again,” said coach Jong Uichico, who also secured his ninth title as a coach including six with San Miguel Beer and two with Ginebra. Uichico became head coach of the Tropang Texters only this season.
Talk ‘N Text was a force to be reckoned with in the PBA from 2008 to 2013 when the squad won five crowns under its former coach Chot Reyes.
Team skipper Ranidel de Ocampo, the finals’ Most Valuable Player, like Uichico hopes for more crowns for their squad that joined the league in 1990. Talk ‘N Text’s owner is business tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan.
“Parang nagsimula lang kami ulit. Pag nag-champion ka ulit, magiging habit na ‘yun na manalo ulit. Iba ‘yung meron kang championship. ‘Yung mga awards wala ‘yan. Ang importante ‘yung championship. Kaya ka nag-babasketball para manalo, para mag champion,” said the 6’6 De Ocampo, a former mainstay of Gilas-Pilipinas.
The 34-year-old Tanza, Cavite-native De Ocampo already has six PBA titles to his name all with Talk ‘N Text starting in 2009. He averaged 24.3 in the finals series on 40 percent shooting from the three-point range and 53 percent from the field. He was 81 percent reliable in the free throw lane on top of 6.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 block shots in the seven-game series.
The Tropang Texters won Game One (99-92), Game Four (99-92), Game Five (103-94) and Game Seven (121-119), while the Elasto Painters under coach Yeng Guiao dominated Game Two (116-108), Game Three (109- 97) and Game Six (101-93).