With a commanding lead, Talk ‘N Text shoots for another victory against Rain or Shine Sunday and virtually secure the PBA Philippine Cup title for the defending champion Tropang Texters at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
No team in the history of the league has recovered after losing the first three games of a best-of-seven series and going 3-0 will be the target of the Tropang Texters when they tangle with the embattled Elasto Painters anew at 6 p.m.
Even Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao was man enough to acknowledge this fact.
“If we don’t win on Sunday (today), it’s almost lights out for us,” Guiao said the Painters fell into a 0-2 hole against the most dominant Philippine Cup team this decade which is seeking a third straight win in this conference.
But Guiao refused to throw the towel in.
“We are not going to give up this series just like that. We’re not losing any hope, 0-2 is still manageable.” Guiao emphasized.
TNT coach Norman Black also knows that he cannot ease up on the pedal, saying they would need to tighten the noose even more to brace for a Rain or Shine fightback like they have never seen before.
“I’m expecting that Rain or Shine will throw everything at us to avoid going down 0-3,” Black said. “I’m expecting an intense game.”
Against a team as complete and as determined as the Texters, even a 0-2 deficit seems formidable enough. And history favors Talk ‘N Text since 33 out of 39 teams that went 2-0 eventually prevailed in a seven-game series.
The last team to uphold that trend was Talk ‘N Text last year in the same Philippine Cup against Powerade.
The Texters have played smart and aggressive in the first two games of the Finals and were rewarded with narrow victories each time. They have been exceptional in executing their patterns in the endgame, one which Guiao’s wards have so far failed to do.
“We just couldn’t make the big plays,” Guiao said.
Talk ‘N Text has taken away Rain or Shine’s fluid game in each of the first two games, controlling the tempo for most of the night and coming up with key shots down the stretch.