Petron, TNT fight for life
Llamados try to keep slate cleanBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
PETRON Blaze and Talk ‘N Text, the powerhouses which disputed last season’s PBA Governors’ Cup in a remarkable seven-game series, have basically a common goal today: To stay alive.
The defending champion Boosters will try to avoid being pushed to the edge of the cliff when they battle B-Meg, while the Tropang Texters gun for the four straight wins they need starting with Meralco tonight at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
With a 1-1 record in the round and 6-5 overall, the Boosters cannot afford another loss in the 7:30 p.m. game. A Petron defeat will make B-Meg out of reach in second spot and deny the Boosters the 4-of-5 semifinal incentive.
That incentive—winning four of five games in this round—seems to be the Tropang Texters’ best way to return to the finals. A stinging loss to the Llamados last Saturday seems to have put the onus on Talk ‘N Text, which has an even 5-5 record, to do just that.
With Rain or Shine already with nine wins with still three games to play, and idle Barangay Ginebra and the Llamados both having seven victories apiece, availing themselves of the 4-of-5 rule could be the best avenue for the Texters.
Petron will be coming off a stunning two-point loss to the Gin Kings just three nights ago, when the Boosters failed to protect a big lead and fell after Cedric Bozeman hit a one-handed floater with three-tenths of a second left.
B-Meg, meanwhile, is also seeking to remain unbeaten in the round like the Kings. A win would move the Llamados within a full game of the Elasto Painters.
As things stand, Rain or Shine, at 9-2, has earned at least a playoff for the second berth in the best-of-seven title series, while Meralco is the only squad that has bid adieu after losing its first two games in the round.
Marcus Blakely will again lead the Llamados, who came from behind last Saturday to nip the Texters, even as Marcus Faison tries to gift the Boosters with a first win since coming over to replace Eddie Basden.