MANILA—Jason Castro said it best: “Game 7? Of course, I’ll play.”
Hurting limbs, manpower shortage, fatigue and all other things won’t matter anymore tonight when Talk ‘N Text and Petron Blaze tangle in the rubber match of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Game time is 7 p.m. with no team having an edge as the Tropang Texters get one last chance to nail the Grand Slam – and achieve PBA immortality – against a Petron side that has unbelievably stuck around despite personnel woes.
“On Sunday (today), it will all be about heart, it will all boil down to whoever wants it more,” Talk ‘N Text’s Chot Reyes told reporters Friday night after blowing the Boosters off the floor, 104-78, to forge this decider.
And it is Castro who gave him this shot, limping his way to 13 first quarter points coming off the bench that jumpstarted the Talk ‘N Text offensive machine on the way to the blowout win.
After being declared out for the rest of the series by Reyes two nights before, Castro announced that he’s e ready to give it his all again, which is certainly bad news for Ato Agustin and the Boosters.
“I don’t think about the pain anymore because if I do, I wouldn’t be able to focus on helping the team win,” Castro, hobbled by an MCL tear in his right knee, said in Filipino after finishing with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists as the big Game 6 factor for the Texters.
“I think it’s adrenalin that’s getting me going,” he added. “Game 7, of course I’ll play.”
Also helping the TNT cause was import Maurice Baker, who unloaded 18 two days after replacing Scottie Reynolds.
Agustin said that he won’t have any surprises for Game 7.
There won’t be any reactivation of players and only the 11 healthy men who have helped him get this far will be there to halt the Texters one final time this season.
“Good thing (about this loss) is that they just tied the series,” Agustin, a veteran of several Game 7 battles while as a superstar guard with San Miguel, told reporters in Filipino Friday. “We got outworked today and we need to do something about that.
“Only those 11 players will be there on Sunday,” he said. “Nothing (in our lineup) will change.”
And that means that Anthony Grundy will have to wake up from a huge Game 6 meltdown if Petron is to entertain thoughts on lifting the season-ending Cup. On Friday, the droopy-eyed import was held to just five points and this told heavily on the Boosters.