Talk N Text versus San Miguel - The Midway Point

Winning a finals: It's kinda a struggle. 


Danny Ildefonso, Danny Seigle, Dondon Hontiveros, Olsen Racela, and Dorian Pena were the key performers of San Miguel during the early 2000’s. Paul Artadi and Sunday Salvacion had finals stints in Ginebra while Mick Pennisi had a lot to share from his Red Bull days. Jimmy Alapag, Harvey Carey, and Ali Peek have seen finals action. Jason Castro was a key member of the Harbour Centre squad while Arwind Santos, Aaron Aban, Rich Alvarez, and Larry Fonacier are famous in leading their UAAP squads to title victories. Parts of the starting five of the former Sta. Lucia squad are also in the Finals with Ryan Reyes and Kelly Williams in Talk N Text and Denok Miranda and Joseph Yeo in Sta. Lucia.

In short, we have a lot of heroes to check out in the San Miguel versus Talk N Text showdown.

Games 1 and 2 were won by the Tropang Texters but the Beermen managed to claw their way to even the series. Jay Washington, Santos, Alex Cabagnot, and Ildefonso are all averaging in double figures for San Miguel while Jason Castro, Jimmy Alapag, Ryan Reyes, Ranidel de Ocampo, Jared Dillinger, and Harvey Carey churn in the stats for Talk N Text.

In four games, here are the top players of the Finals.


15 OLSEN RACELA / SAN MIGUEL
4.7PPG – 2.3RPG – 2.7APG – 1.0SPG – 0.7TPG
Turning back the hands of time is the specialty of these San Miguel vets and leading the way is their team captain! I for one think Racela shouldn’t stop playing until he reaches his 1,000th game but if this is his last year, this is great swan song for Ra-Ra!


14 LARRY FONACIER / TALK N TEXT
6.5PPG – 2.8RPG – 1.8APG – 1.0SPG – 1.0TPG
He was one of the reasons why Alaska was almost unstoppable last season and he is the reason why the Texters cared less of their Number 4 draft pick and the loss of Macmac Cardona. If you check out the games, you’ll always see Fonacier in the court as either a scoring option or gasp... a key defender!  


13 DORIAN PENA / SAN MIGUEL
4.0PPG – 7.0RPG – 0.8APG – 1.0TPG (17.3)
The fruitiest player in all of PBA may not be an offensive option but his presence alone is enough to disrupt penetration and inside offense. Of course, he can also administer pain via putbacks and low post plays.


12 DONDON HONTIVEROS / SAN MIGUEL
7.8PPG – 5.0RPG – 1.5APG – 1.3SPG – 1.8TPG
His numbers might not be as threatening but what he lacks in points, he doubles it in defense. Dondon gets too much props for his scoring that we are forgetting that he is a Class A defender. Still, San Miguel needs him to score if they want to win.


11 JIMMY ALAPAG / TALK N TEXT
11.5PPG – 3.0RPG – 3.3APG – 2.5TPG
He has flaws. He likes to hit a “fast break three” and he likes to force the situation when he thinks he needs to. Sure, his assists are down but he continues to be one of the biggest threats that’s not favoring San Miguel. Look for him to play big in the game.


10 ALI PEEK / TALK N TEXT
6.0PPG – 9.3RPG – 0.8APG – 1.0BPG – 0.8TPG
His offense is down but his defensive awesomeness remains intact. In some essence, whenever San Miguel tries a fast lineup, he becomes a liability. However, this prompts TNT to do a halfcourt set which automatically makes the Beermen review their rotation.


9 JARED DILLINGER / TALK N TEXT
10.5PPG – 4.3RPG – 1.8APG – 0.8SPG – 0.8BPG – 1.5TPG
Dillinger continues to be inconsistent but one thing he did right was when he unleashed a scoring rampage. His 20 points paved the way for TNT’s victory over San Miguel in Game 2. Chot Reyes often forgets him because he has yet to be reliable in defense but when he gets going, it’s hard to stop him.


8 DANNY ILDEFONSO / SAN MIGUEL
10.3PPG – 4.5RPG – 3.3APG – 0.8SPG – 1.5TPG
The Raise the Roof Kid is turning back the hands of time to deliver the victory for the Beermen. One thing these superstars don’t have that he has right now is savvy to deliver in these situations. Don’t be surprised to see more from the Demolition Man in the coming games.


7 RANIDEL DE OCAMPO / TALK N TEXT
13.0PPG – 5.3RPG – 2.3APG – 0.5SPG – 0.5BPG – 2.0TPG
He has been drifting to all frontline spots in the finals but one thing certain is that he is healthy enough to help the Texters in their quest to the top. He can face off with Arwind Santos in the inside or outside and he can even defend against Jay Washington and Alex Cabagnot when the situation arises.


6 HARVEY CAREY / TALK N TEXT
11.3PPG – 8.8RPG – 1.0APG – 0.8BPG – 1.5TPG
He was Talk N Text’s most consistent performer before the finals and he is still their most consistent performer in the finals. He is responsible for putting a lock on Jay Washington which is why Kelly Williams gets a small chunk of playing time in this series.


5 ALEX CABAGNOT / SAN MIGUEL
12.0PPG – 3.3RPG – 5.5APG – 0.5SPG – 1.8TPG
Are you kidding me? Seriously! Whenever the guy gets the ball in crunch time, he cold-bloodedly drains the basket! And not only that, he has managed to go head-to-head with Jimmy Alapag and win! In a series adjustment, he now comes in as a reliever which gives Coach Ato a spark plug of the bench!


4 JASON CASTRO / TALK N TEXT
14.5PPG – 2.8RPG – 3.5APG – 1.3SPG – 2.8TPG
Jay Washington was sent to San Miguel for the draft rights of Jason Castro and while it seems as if it offered the Texters a mismatch, Castro is making the Texters feel that they made the right choice. He can lead the team through either offense or defense or whatever he can do give the team the win. He is their top producer off the bench which in a way was the reason why Cabagnot is now a non-starter. He needs to check his turnovers though.


3 RYAN REYES / TALK N TEXT
11.3PPG – 4.3RPG – 3.7APG – 2.0SPG – 1.0TPG
If Olsen Racela and the rest of the Beermen want Racela to have a great end of career then Ryan Reyes and the rest of the Tropang Texters want to dedicate their finals win for Ryan’s fallen bro. Ryan is playing possessed having said that and if you didn’t see his high-leaping putback in Game 3, then you can’t figure out the depths Reyes would endure just to score a championship.


JAY WASHINGTON / SAN MIGUEL
17.3PPG – 7.8RPG – 1.3APG – 0.8BPG – 2.0TPG
Its payback time for J-Wash and he means business against his former team. He gets most of TNT’s defense but who can fault Chot Reyes? He is the Best Player of the Conference for crying out loud! However he needs to step up big in the next games because inasmuch as Danny Ildefonso is getting the breaks of the game, this is his team now.


ARWIND SANTOS / SAN MIGUEL
16.3PPG – 9.0RPG – 1.0APG – 1.0SPG – 1.3BPG – 2.3TPG
He has been San Miguel’s most consistent player. Even with the numerous mistakes he commits, he needs to be inside the court. Sure he forces he shots and makes significant errors every now and then but he can nail a potential clutch shot or a game-changing defensive play with ease.


While there are heroes like Ryan Reyes, Jason Castro, Danny Ildefonso, Danny Seigle, and Olsen Racela, there were zeroes or in this case, Mark Yee, Gilbert Lao, and Emer Oreta – a group of guys who were recently released from Yeng Guiao’s camp of bruisers.

Games 5, 6, and 7 should be a treat for those who want hard-hitting, rim-rattling action!

This should be a treat!

Game over!

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