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Tropang Texters, E-Painters go for 2-0 Final 4 lead


Paul Lee, Rain or Shine try to go 2-0 versus San Mig Coffee. PHOTO by NUK SABIO, PBA

There were no fireworks, only great efforts from Talk ‘N Text and Rain or Shine in Day 1 of the PBA Philippine Cup Final Four series Wednesday.

With 1-0 leads, the Tropang Texters and the Elasto Painters today gun for a commanding advantage against Alaska and San Mig Coffee, respectively, as playoff action shifts to Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay for the rest of the Yuletide season.

The Painters take the floor first at 5:15 p.m. against the Mixers, who were outclassed in the second half of Game 1, as Yeng Guiao and his boys try to creep closer to a second straight Finals appearance.

Even with a masterful 91-83 conquest of the Mixers, Guiao refused to make any predictions.

“It’s still way too early, this is just the first game,” Guiao said. “But what I know is that the team that wins Game 1 has a 70 percent chance of winning the series. You need any advantage you can get in this kind of a situation.”

Tim Cone of San Mig left the coliseum in a huff after the stinging loss.

“Rain or Shine got everything they wanted to get,” Cone later said in a text message. “We just couldn’t get them out of their comfort zone and we ended up playing a very sub-par game.

“But our guys will respond and put a better effort for Game 2,” he continued. “The key right now is getting even in the series.”

The last time Rain or Shine and San Mig figured in a best-of-seven playoff series was for last season’s Governors’ Cup, with the Painters taking a 2-0 lead and Guiao predicting victory even after losing Paul Lee after Game 2.

Talk ‘N Text will also shoot for a repeat against the Aces at 7:30 p.m., with Norman Black and his “three-peat”-seeking Texters hoping to fire it up offensively.

“They did a tremendous job in slowing us down (offensively),” Black said after a 66-65 victory made possible by a Ryan Reyes triple off a broken play in the final 14.3 seconds. “We have to go back and see how we can counter their defense.”

Alaska almost succeeded in shutting down the Texters only to go scoreless in the final 2:34 and allowing the decisive Reyes jumper.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” Alaska coach Luigi Trillo gamely said after the bitter defeat. “Nice thing we showed is that we can keep up with them.”


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