Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters
|Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters|
|Leagues||Philippine Basketball Association|
|Team History|| Pepsi Bottlers|
Pepsi Mega Hotshots
Mobiline Phone Pals
Talk 'N Text Phone Pals
Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters
|Team Colors||Blue, White, and Yellow|
|Company||Pilipino Telephone Corporation|
|Head Coach||Chot Reyes|
The Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters is a Philippine Basketball Association team.
Pepsi Philippines of the Lorenzo family and was granted an expansion franchise prior to the 1990 PBA season. The Pepsi Bottlers also used the names 7-Up Bottlers and Pepsi Mega Hotshots in their campaigns, netting no championships.
In 1996, telecommunications company Pilipino Telephone Corporation bought the franchise and renamed it the Mobiline Cellulars and later the Mobiline Phone Pals which later won the special 1998 PBA Centennial Cup. After Piltel became an MVNO in April 2000, the team was again renamed in 2001, this time as the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals, after a prepaid cellular phone service. They have since won a title in four finals appearances and remains as one of the league's powerhouses. In 2008, the team changed their monicker from Phone Pals, to Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters.
Under the Pepsi brand
Pepsi Mega was accepted as one of two new members of the Philippine Basketball Association during 1990, joining soft drink rival Pop Cola Panthers. During its first season, Pepsi won only two games out of the 30 games. Import Derrick Hamilton had 77 and 78 point games from the stretch of February 17 and March 1.
In 1991, Pepsi became a competitive team, taking fourth place in the Third Conference.
In 1992, they were known as the 7-Up Bottlers, one of the brands which Pepsi (Philippines) bottled and marketed in the Philippines.
7-Up would place runner-up in the 1992 Reinforced Conference. Their import was an NBA veteran point guard by the name of Delano Demps. They would be swept by the Pop Cola Panthers led by Tony Harris in the finals 4-0. Seven-Up was also bannered by players Manny Victorino, Abet Guidaben, Eugene Quilban and Naning Valenciano. Quilban recorded 28 assists during a game that year, which is still a PBA record.
The team reverted back to Pepsi Hotshots, and also used the 7-Up name at one point. Pepsi placed fourth in the 1993 Governor's Cup and a third-place finish in the 1994 Governors Cup with import Ronnie Coleman.
Before the 1994 PBA Governor's Cup, Pepsi and Sunkist were involved in a rare coaching trade that saw Derrick Pumaren moving to the RFM franchise for Yeng Guiao. Despite the coaching change, Pepsi's on and off performance continued in 1995, despite a strong start in the Governor's Cup, in which they had a 5-2 win-loss card but never took home a trophy at the end of the tournament.
After the 1996 PBA All-Filipino Cup, Pepsi Hotshots was renamed as the Mobiline Cellulars, a product of telecommunications company Pilipino Telephone Corporation (Piltel). There is some confusion or lack of information on how the team was renamed from a soft drink product to a cellphone brand. One fan from MYPBA.com explained his own take.
- My opinion is that the Piltel franchise came to be only in 1996 even if then Pepsi owner Luis "Moro" Lorenzo was somehow a stockholder of Piltel. My recollection is that when Mobiline became the "new name" of Pepsi Hotshots, it was Choy Cojuangco who was already running the basketball operations of the team. He then eventually turned the reins over to his brother (?) Tonyboy who thereafter, sold his shares to Manny Pangilinan and the Metro Pacific Group.
The team still retained the lineage of the old Pepsi teams in the past as prove in the Official PBA Annual, Hardcourt, in which the win-loss record of Pepsi from 1990-1995 are attached to the Mobiline teams.
The Cellulars retained the old Pepsi team with point guard Eugene Quilban leading the team. But the name change did not help the Cellulars contend for the crown.
Mobiline Phone Pals
In 1997, Mobiline took the first overall pick of the draft and used it to draft Filipino-American Andy Seigle. The Cellulars also drafted Patrick Fran, Tony Boy Espinosa. Mobiline hired former San Miguel coach Norman Black and acquired 1995 Rookie of the Year Jeffrey Cariaso from the Alaska Aces.
In the All-Filipino, the Cellulars advanced to the semi-finals but faltered in the Commissioner's Cup with Isaish Morris as reinforcement. In the Governor's Cup, they paraded Artemus "Tee" McClary and hired a new coach in Derrick Pumaren and Tommy Manotoc as consultant. Mobiline posted a decent finish in the Governors Cup but failed to enter the semis.
In 1998, the Phone Pals struggled in the All-Filipino with a 4-7 record. In the Commissioner's Cup, another change was done as it hired former Purefoods mentor Eric Altamirano. The Pals, like in the '97 Governors Cup were eliminated in the quarterfinals with Terquin Mott as import.
Centennial Cup Champions
Andy Seigle and Jeffrey Cariaso were borrowed by the national team for the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand. They captured the 1998 PBA Centennial (the Philippines was then celebrating it's 100th anniversary of the independence from Spain) Cup by beating Shell by a hairline, 67-66, in ovetime led by imports Silas Mills and McClary, with the help of veteran locals Glen Capacio and Al Solis. However, the Centennial Cup was a special tournament and the title was not considered as an official championship.
The records after the elimination round of the tournament was carried over in the Governor's Cup. The Pals retained their winning way and advanced to the finals in a rematch with the Zoom Masters. Mobiline held a 3-2 series lead but lost the last two games to wind up in second place. Mills would end up winning the Best Import of the Governors Cup.
Seeking for bigger things in 1999, the Pals acquired Filipino-Tongan Paul Asi Taulava to man the Pals frontline along with Seigle. Mobiline started the All-Filipino with a 7-0 record before losing a crucial game to San Miguel. The Pals end up with the best record after the elimination phase but was defeated by a gritty Barangay Ginebra Kings squad despite a twice to beat advantage on Bal David's incredible last second shot.
The rest of the year, Mobiline would be eliminated in the quarters during the Commissioner's and Governor's Cup while Taulava's eligibility as a legitimate Filipino-foreigner was questioned. During the midseason, Mobiline traded Andy Seigle to Purefoods for veteran Jerry Codinera.
Taulava would be deported later in the year as the Pals were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the All-Filipino with new coach Louie Alas. The Pals wound up with the best record in the elimination phase of the Governor's Cup. After surviving a quarterfinals meeting with Barangay Ginebra, Purefoods eliminate Mobiline in four games. The Phone Pals finished 4th after losing to Batang Red Bull Thunder in a knockout game for third place.
Talk 'N Text Phone Pals
The Phone Pals drafted former Manila Metrostar Gilbert Demape, but the Phone Pals, for the sixth time in seven conferences, were eliminated by top seed Shell in the quarterfinals.
In the Commissioner's Cup, the Pals bannered Michigan University standout Jerod Ward who exploded for 61 points in his debut. Later, Taulava returned to the Philippines after an apporval by the Justice Department but despite that the Phone Pals failed to get past the quarterfinals. The Governor's Cup was also the same fate for the Phone Pals despite changing their name to Talk 'N Text and having Brandon Williams as import.
Under foreign coaches
Before the 2002 season, Alas was fired by Talk 'N Text and hired former UNLV coach Bill Bayno despite numerous calls by the nationalist Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines to ban the American mentor. Although they lost Asi Taulava and Patrick Fran to the National Pool, Talk 'N Text was bannered by Richie Frahm and Jerald Honeycutt, a replacement for an original import. The Phone Pals end up as the top team in the elimination phase of the Governor's Cup but suffered the same fate as 1999 when the eighth seed San Miguel Beermen upset the Pals.
But Talk 'N Text finally broke the spell in the Commissioner's Cup, led by Honeycutt and Pete Mickeal, the seventh seeded Phone Pals defeated Sta. Lucia in the quarterfinals and Alaska in a five game semis affair to enter their third Finals appearance in team history, and the first since 1998. In the end, Red Bull defeated Talk 'N Text in seven grueling games.
Bayno later left the team, but without some parting shots on the PBA when he accused the league of favoring the San Miguel Corporation teams.
In the All-Filipino, Taulava returned to the team after his national team stint in the Asian Games but the Phone Pals got the early boot in the quarterfinals under new head coach Paul Woolpert, another American coach who replaced the departed Bill Bayno.
In 2003, the Phone Pals used two first round picks to draft Fil-Americans Harvey Carey and Jimmy Alapag, who was with the RP national pool in 2002. The Pals struggled early in the All-Filipino and midway to that tournament, Woolpert left the team and was replaced with Ateneo coach Joel Banal, who led the Blue Eagles to the UAAP title in 2002.
2003 All-Filipino Championship
Since then, Talk 'N Text rose to the tournament and captured the All-Filipino Cup over defending champion Coca-Cola in six games. After an overtime win in Game Five, the Phone Pals became the first team since 1982 to come back from a 0-2 deficit to win the next four games after a hard-fought Game Six victory. Taulava was named as the PBA Finals MVP, after winning the Best Player of the Conference award.
2007-2008 SMART PBA Philippine Cup
On November 18, 2007, the Smart PBA Philippine Cup was played between the Talk N Text Phone Pals and Coca Cola. The game was dominated early by Coca Cola, but the Talk N Text Phone Pals turned the game around and ended up winning comfortable, 113-82. The win was a very dominating performance, considering the narrow one-point loss to Welcoat, 125-126 on November 9, 2007. The game was tied when the Phone Pals hit a two-point basket with only two seconds remaining. Against all odds, Welcoat hit an audacious three-point field goal to win the game.
They also qualified in the 2003 PBA Invitationals were four guest teams were invited. Joel Banal left the team for the moment to concentrate on the Ateneo Blue Eagles stint in the UAAP. The Pals did not qualify for the semis but not without controversy. Needing to win by eight points over Red Bull Barako to qualify, the Phone Pals deliberately fouled several Red Bull players in the last two minutes to force an overtime or even reached the needed eight point margin. The game turned out to be more disgraceful when Jojo Manalo tried to hit a three-pointer on Red Bull's basket. The incident led to a hefty fine and a five game suspension to acting coach Ariel Vanguardia.
In the revived Reinforced Conference, Talk 'N Text was bannered by Damien Cantrell but the Phone Pals finished with a 7-6 mark, good for 4th place in Group B. They upset the top seeded Red Bull Barako 2-1 that ended with Jimwell Torion's clothesline on Jimmy Alapag's face that led to the latter's suspension for eight months, which was later reduced.
But in the semis, Talk 'N Text was swept by eventual champions Coca-Cola, but the Phone Pals captured third place in the tournament after beating Sta. Lucia in a one game playoff for third place.
Asi Taulava became the first Filipino-foreign player since Ricardo Brown in 1985 to win the coveted Most Valuable Player award. Jimmy Alapag won the Rookie of the Year honors to wrapped up the Phone Pals' incredible year.
Joel Banal resigned as Ateneo head coach to concentrate on the Talk 'N Text team. In the 2004 PBA Fiesta Conference, the Phone Pals were bannered by 2002 MVP Willie Miller and Yancy de Ocampo in separate deals with Red Bull and FedEx.
The Phone Pals made it to the semis of the tournament, but lost in a three-game showdown with crowd-favorite Barangay Ginebra Kings.
In the 2004-05 Philippine Cup, the Phone Pals placed second in the classification phase to qualify for the semi-finals. The Phone Pals swept the Shell Turbo Chargers but was defeated in six games by Barangay Ginebra.
During the said tournament, Asi Taulava was considered by the Department of Justice as one of six Filipino-foreigners suspected of falsifying their documents. Taulava was suspended by the PBA indefinitely, along with five other players.
Taulava gained some advantage from the Quezon City RTC, but the PBA still didn't gave Taulava the go-signal. In the Finals of the Philippine Cup, the Phone Pals used Taulava despite the league's refusal to allow Taulava. Talk 'N Text reasoned a court order that allows Asi to play in the series. The Phone Pals wound up winning Game One by double figures, but the game was forfeited two days later, awarding the win to Barangay Ginebra. The Phone Pals later announced that they will not allow Taulava to play for the rest of the series.
In the 2004-05 Fiesta Conference, the Phone Pals finished first after the classification phase, earning an outright semi-finals berth. In the semis, the Phone Pals eliminating the soon departing Shell Turbo Chargers, 3-1, to face San Miguel in the finals series.
Taulava was once again used by Talk 'N Text, but this time the league gave the go-signal for Taulava to return and play for his mother ballclub. Asi showed rustiness during the series as the Phone Pals lost the series to San Miguel, 4-1. Willie Miller was named as the Best Player of the Conference.
Talk 'N Text acquired rookies Anthony Washington and Mark Cardona from the Air21 Express for Yancy de Ocampo and Patrick Fran in separate deals.
The Phone Pals were considered as top favorites in the 2005-2006 Fiesta Conference. However, the Phone Pals lost in five grueling games to Air21 in the quarterfinals. During the series, import Damien Cantrell was replaced by former Detroit Piston and National Basketball Association champion Darvin Ham. But Ham did not fit in Talk N Text's system and struggled.
After the disappointing finish in the said tournament, Joel Banal resigned as head coach and was replaced by former amateur coach Derrick Pumaren. The change made some good strides in the early stages of his second stint with Talk 'N Text. With Pumaren using the star players Asi Taulava and Jimmy Alapag, and mixing Harvey Carey and seldom-used rookie Mark Cardona, the Phone Pals went 5-4 through nine games of the Philippine Cup.
However, the Phone Pals suffered three succeeding losses, prompting team officials to land Ren-Ren Ritualo from Air21 for Leo Avenido and a future first round draft pick, and Don Allado from Alaska for Willie Miller, John Ferriols, and a future first round pick on May 8. The move saw the Phone Pals as a potential title contender with the squad boasting a group of star players from their past teams along with Taulava, Alapag, Cardona and Carey. However, the trade put the Phone Pals in a deeper hole losing three more games before a win against Coca-Cola gave them a disappointing 6-10 card.
In the wildcard phase, the Phone Pals did not win a single game in the round-robin format. In their initial game, Talk 'N Text lost to Barangay Ginebra, eliminating them from quarterfinal contention before losing their final two games to Air21 and Sta. Lucia.
The Phone Pals had a shot of taking the No. 1 pick in the draft. However, they traded that rights to the Air21 Express in a trade months ago, which dealt a big blow to the franchise. Rumors have speculated that TNT management is set to make drastic changes for the team after their disappointing season.
Talk 'N Text has released Poch Juinio while the contracts of Vergel Meneses and Chris Cantonjos were not renewed, leaving the team with only 10 players. The Phone Pals participated in the 2006 NBA Summer Pro League. In the 2006 PBA Draft, the Phone Pals selected Mark Andaya in the first round, its only pick in the event.
Talk N Text managed to start off big in the 2006-07 PBA Philippine Cup, but a string of losses put them beneath the standings. But a late surge, followed by a crucial Christmas day victory over Ginebra gave the team a 10-8 record and a quarterfinals berth against Purefoods. The Phone Pals won the series 3-1 dethroning the defending Philippine Cup champions by winning the next three games by convincing margins. At the semifinals, they took crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra Kings to six games but they were eliminated by the eventual champions; they defeated Red Bull Barako in the third-place game to win the third place trophy.
On the ongoing 2007 PBA Fiesta Conference, the Phone Pals barged into the Finals after surviving a quarterfinal scare against the Air21 Express and upsetting first seed Red Bull Barako to face the Alaska Aces. The Aces drew first blood by taking game 1 but fell behind with a 1-2 series deficit after newly crowned Best Player of the Conference Mark Cardona scoring big. Newly crowned MVP candidate Willie Miller erupted for 29 points to tie the series. Cardona then had an answer when he top-scored locals on Game 5.
Cardona gave the ball away when turned over the ball in the dying seconds for the Aces to tie the series 3-all. Game 7 was a tight affair but the Aces broke through with a Miller steal off Cardona to seal Talk 'N Text's third successive Finals defeat.
The end of the Asi Taulava era
Talk N Text was a rising powerhouse team after the 2007 Fiesta Conference Finals, with a star-studded line-up bannered by Asi Taulava, Jimmy Alapag, Don Allado, Jay Washington, Harvey Carey,Renren Ritualo, Mac-Mac Cardona and Yousif Aljamal. However, former MVP Taulava's point production dipped when he opted to concentrate on the defensive end. His dismal performance in the team cost him his slot at the Phone Pals roster. On November 26, 2007 the Asi Taulava era at Talk N Text officially ended when the prized Fil-Tongan center was shipped to the Coca-Cola Tigers in exchange for Ali Peek and a 2008 first-round draft pick.
Taulava and the Tigers then had a 5-game winning streak, while the Phone Pals could only muster a three-game winning streak of their own; on the final game of the elimination round, with TNT needing to win to force a playoff for the last quarterfinal berth, Taulava and the Tigers beat the Phone Pals to deny them the playoff and instead arranged a sudden death wildcard game between the two teams. With Taulava and another ex-Phone Pal Mark Telan playing inspired basketball, the Tigers eliminated the #6 seed Phone Pals in the first wildcard round.
This led to rumors of team management firing Derrick Pumaren and his staff but after a meeting with the players, it was decided to defer the decision until after the next tournament, the 2008 PBA Fiesta Conference.
Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters
The team changed its name to Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters. And to make the team competitive, they drafted stalwarts such as Jason Castro, Jared Dillinger, Robbie Reyes, and Pong Escobal and giving away Jay Washington, Donbel Belano, and Kalani Ferreria.
During the Philippine Cup eliminations, they have ended up 2nd with a 11-7 record. On February 11, 2009, it was their night. They captured their 2nd title as they beat the Alaska Aces in Game 7, 93-89 to win the series 4-3. Mark Cardona was named the Finals MVP.
- Records from the last 5 seasons:
|Talk 'N Text Phone Pals|
|2004-05||Philippine Cup||2nd||12||6||.667|| Semifinals|
| Talk 'N Text 3, Shell 0|
Barangay Ginebra 4, Talk 'N Text 2
|Fiesta Conference||1st||12||6||.667|| Semifinals|
| Talk 'N Text 3, Shell 1|
San Miguel 4, Talk 'N Text 1
|2005-06||Fiesta Conference||4th||9||7||.563||Quarterfinals||Air21 3, Talk 'N Text 2|
|Philippine Cup||8th||6||10||.375||Wildcard phase||3rd overall (6–13), 4th in wildcards (0–3)|
|2006-07||Philippine Cup||4th||10||8||.556|| Quarterfinals|
| Talk 'N Text 3, Purefoods 1|
Barangay Ginebra 4, Talk 'N Text 2
Talk 'N Text 124, Red Bull 111
|Fiesta Conference||4th||11||7||.611|| Quarterfinals|
| Talk 'N Text 2, Air21 1|
Talk 'N Text 4, Red Bull 2
Alaska 4, Talk 'N Text 3
|2007-08||Philippine Cup||6th||9||9||.500||1st wildcard round||Coca-Cola 81, Talk 'N Text 73|
|Fiesta Conference||7th||9||9||.500|| 1st wildcard round|
2nd wildcard round
| Talk 'N Text 98, Purefoods 83*|
Sta. Lucia 111, Talk 'N Text 96*
|Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters|
|2008-09||Philippine Cup||2nd||11||7||.611|| Semifinals|
| Talk 'N Text 4, San Miguel 2 |
Talk 'N Text 4, Alaska 3
|Fiesta Conference||To be held.|
|Elimination round||89||69||.563||9 playoff appearances|
- Abet Guidaben - played for 7/Up-Pepsi squad from 1990 to 1993.
- Vergel Meneses - "The Aerial Voyager" played for Talk N Text in the 2006 Philippine Cup.
- Jerry Codinera - played for Mobiline Phone Pals from 1996 to 2001.
Other Notable Players
- Peter Aguilar
- Jonathan Aldave
- Pongkee Alolor
- Eric Altamirano
- Leo Austria
- Gido Babilonia
- Lowell Briones
- Elmer Cabahug
- Glenn Capacio
- Jeffrey Cariaso - "The Jet"
- Joy Carpio
- Harmon Codinera
- Tim Coloso
- Richard del Rosario
- Tony Boy Espinosa
- John Ferriols
- Willie Generalao - "The General"
- Jeffrey Graves
- Nap Hatton
- Jun Jabar
- Romy Lopez
- Peter Martin
- Carlito Mejos
- Willie Miller
- Jose Cadel Mosqueda
- Franz Pumaren - "The Missile"
- Dindo Pumaren - "The Bullet"
- Eugene Quilban
- Badong Ramos
- Bong Ravena
- Ricky Relosa
- Eric Reyes
- Gilbert "Jun" Reyes
- Joey Santamaria
- Andy Seigle - 1997 PBA Rookie of the Year
- Al Solis
- Mark Anthony Tallo
- Mark Telan
- Alvin Teng
- Naning Valenciano
- Manny Victorino
- Yoyoy Villamin -"The Bicolano Superman"
- Larry Villanil
- Vernie Villarias
- Rey Yncierto
- Tonichi Yturri
- Todd Bernard
- Derick Canada
- Damian Cantrell
- Ronnie Coleman
- Lanard Copeland
- Dell Demps
- Richie Frahm
- Darvin Ham
- Derrick Hamilton
- Jeff Hodge
- Jerald Honeycutt
- Danny Johnson
- Ruben Leoncio
- Artemus McClary
- Perry McDonald
- Pete Mickeal
- Silas Mills
- Terquin Mott
- Kenny Redfield
- Larry Robinson
- Jose Slaughter
- Carlos Strong
- James Todd "J.J." Sullinger
- Alyun Taylor
- Jerod Ward
- Brandon Williams
- Ed Ocampo (1990)
- Derrick Pumaren (1990-1994, 1997, 2006-Present)
- Yeng Guiao (1995-1996)
- Norman Black (1997)
- Eric Altamirano (1998-2000)
- Louie Alas (2000-2001)
- Bill Bayno (2002)
- Paul Woolpert (2002-2003)
- Joel Banal (2003-2006)