Texters slight faves as title series beginsBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Defending champion Talk ‘N Text, the logical favorite, and B-Meg, the popular choice, start their best-of-seven duel for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup today with both sides aiming to set the tone for the series at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
Tip-off is 6:45 p.m. with the Tropang Texters installed as the slight picks by virtue of a super loaded lineup that has gotten them into the league’s last five championship series.
Talk ‘N Text won in the only time it met B-Meg this conference, and the title series is a first against each other for both franchises.
Tim Cone of B-Meg believes the only chance they have in upsetting the Texters is if his Llamados can slow down their foes and make the game as deliberate as possible, the way Barako Bull did in the Final Four last week.
But before that, Cone wants to put something in his players’ minds.
“First, we have to believe that we can beat them,” Cone said. “(And) if we can slow them down, I think we have a chance.”
Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes is trying to make it look like his Texters are already fagged out at this point in the playoffs.
Cone, though, is not biting; he believes that the Texters are as hungry as ever.
Talk ‘N Text is trying to put itself in the same position it was in last year, when it won the first two jewels before being upset in the Governors’ Cup by Petron Blaze and falling one title short of the league’s fifth Grand Slam.
The Texters would like nothing else than to get that chance again, especially after Reyes had announced that this would be his last season in the PBA. He was recently named head coach of the national basketball program.
Reyes concedes that B-Meg has the advantage as far as imports are concerned. But the fiery drillmaster knows that they have the edge in speed, and it would be very interesting to see how he can make his team run as Cone tries everything to slow the game down.
Prolific B-Meg import Denzel Bowles, a shoo-in for the Best Import award, is expected to give Talk ‘N Text counterpart Donnell Harvey a difficult time.
After seeing the shackling of B-Meg gunslinger James Yap in the Barako Bull series, Reyes is expected to throw several men to contain the two-time former MVP.