Rested Texters, battle-worn Mixers clash in PBA finals
Video by INQUIRER.net’s Ryan Leagogo
MANILA, Philippines — Despite contrasting roads to the finals, a gruelling battle is still expected between Talk N’ Text and San Mig Coffee.
The Texters have an obvious edge over their opponents, with fresh legs from a week’s break and an intimidating 13-0 run in the 2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“It’s gonna be really tough. Our overall record this conference is 9-8 and they’re 13-0. Kind of a big disparity there,” said head coach Tim Cone of the match up. “No doubt they have an advantage.”
But Cone, the maestro of a league-record 16 championships, is aware that his team has been through enough battles to know what it needs to neutralize Talk N’ Text.
“We’re clinging on that experience, my team is experience enough. They know how to turn around and get ready and were going to bank on that experience.”
The Mixers have played eight straight games in the quarterfinals and the semifinals, which earned them third straight finals appearance.
While that kind of grind would definitely wear out any team, Texters’ mentor Norman Black is wary of momentum from that run by the Mixers.
“Obviously San Mig has been playing, and their energy level is up and confidence is up,” said Black whose squad’s health is their biggest weapon this conference.
“I think one thing good thing that’s happened is that we’ve been healthy. Last year, we’ve had so many injuries because of Fiba Asia championships.”
This is the second time that these two multi-titled mentors will meet in the finals, with the last being in the 1995 Governors’ Cup between San Miguel and Alaska.
Black is chasing his 12th title, while Cone is looking for his 17th.
Talk N’ Text, meanwhile, is only three victories away from making history as the first-ever team to sweep their way to the crown.
But as expected, Black, who has proven his magic both in the PBA and the UAAP, said that his Texters isn’t just chasing history.
“We’re focused at the job at hand. Our goal is to win the championship,” Black said.
The healthy and rested Texters and the battle-worn Mixers start their best-of-five finals scheduled on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.