Game 7 finale for Texters, LlamadosBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
ONE game for all the marbles.
That is what it’s all about today when defending champion Talk ‘N Text and B-Meg slug it out in a fitting Game 7 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title playoffs at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We shouldn’t have played the first six games of the series,” TNT coach Chot Reyes said Friday night after grabbing momentum for the 6 p.m. winner-take-all match with a workmanlike 92-82 Game 6 victory.
“That’s what a championship is all about: One game for all the marbles.”
B-Meg’s Tim Cone acknowledged that Reyes and his defending champion Tropang Texters will have the momentum today.
“It’s not the end of the series. We don’t have time to feel bad about it,” Cone, visibly disappointed, said Friday night. “We have to turn around and think of Game 7. It would be difficult because they have momentum now.
“This is the way the series has been. We’ve been so evenly matched,” added the winner of the 1996 Grand Slam with Alaska. “It’s going to come down to one game. This was the way it was destined from the very beginning.”
Recent history favors Reyes.
Talk ‘N Text has played a total of six KO matches so far in the season, three in the Philippine Cup against Petron Blaze, two in the Final Four here against formidable Barako Bull and that one on Friday.
The Texters have won them all.
But the series trend seemingly sides with the Llamados, who have won all odd numbered games.
“We battled and battled, and hopefully, we could sustain this and find a way to win (Game 7). Preparation will be all about the mental aspect and shooting,” Reyes said of the approach they will take in the KO match.
Talk ‘N Text found a way to run in Game 6 while also choking the Llamados on defense. There were only two players who scored in twin digits for B-Meg, Denzel Bowles and James Yap.
And though the duo dropped big numbers, the others in the team churned out paltry ones, and this is what Cone believes did them in.
“We need to get other people involved,” Cone said. “They had a really good shooting night. We just couldn’t get our offense on track. They had 30 turnover points.”
PJ Simon struggled big time, held down to just two points on 1-of-7 shooting from the field. The Game 1 hero has been shackled for the last two outings.