Llamados seek clincher todayBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
It was quite odd to hear what B-Meg coach Tim Cone had to say Wednesday night after his Llamados moved a step closer to winning the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title.
It was just as odd that Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes— whose Tropang Texters could be unseated as champions and lose what looks like a second stab at a Grand Slam—practically echoed Cone.
“It took a tremendous effort by us to win tonight,” Cone said Wednesday after moving within another win of a first PBA title for a team other than Alaska. “I hope we have another one left in us.”
Said Reyes: “As a coach, I need to sense if we have anything left in our gas tank. We really need to think hard about our desire to win the series.”
Whether they were talking facts or not will be known at 6:45 p.m. today, when both powerhouses square off in Game 6 of what has been an up-and-down series, where neither team has won consecutive games, at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
This time, the Llamados will try to end it all after a masterful 82-66 Game 5 victory that Cone said may have drained his boys and left them with little energy for the finishing kick.
“We gave our absolute all to win this (Game 5),” Cone said. “The pressure is now on the team with three wins to close out the series, especially against a great team like Talk ‘N Text.”
Reyes practically admitted that his star-studded lineup was already running on an empty tank after hammering out wins in Games 2 and 4 to tie the best-of-seven playoffs twice.
If the Texters follow the trend and prevail in the third even-numbered game, one of the most exciting duels for the title culminates in a Game 7 this Sunday.
Being down in a series is nothing new to Reyes and the Texters, who erased a 1-3 deficit against Petron Blaze to win the Philippine Cup. In the best-of-five semifinals here, Talk ‘N Text came back from a 1-2 hole to eliminate Barako Bull and make the Finals.
“Against Barako Bull, it was just in the semis, and we didn’t play a team as strong and as big as B-Meg,” Reyes said.
“At this point, the players need to decide if they want to give it a final push.”
If there is one most motivated player to end it all tonight, it is James Yap, the former two-time MVP who spoke with so much excitement and desire after unloading a tournament-best 30 points Wednesday, the most by anyone in the title series.
“It will be hard work as always in Game 6,” Yap said in Filipino “Patayan ulit. Basta’t walang bibitaw (It’s do or die. We have to hang on till the end).”