PBA: PH Cup finalists Talk ‘N Text and Powerade in grudge match
MANILA, Philippines—Talk ‘N Text battles Powerade Wednesday night in their first meeting since the Philippine Cup Finals with the Tropang Texters shooting for a win that would more or less give them the first playoff berth in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. with both sides coming off resounding victories.
In the curtain-raiser, Petron Blaze and Alaska try to bounce back from stinging setbacks the last time out when they slug it out at 5:15 p.m.
The Texters, the tournament’s defending champions, routed the Tigers in that series, 4-1, and became the first repeat titlists of the all-Filipino conference in close to three decades.
But this is another story, with the Tigers now a seasoned bunch led by import Dwayne Jones and their version of the Big Three of Gary David and super rookies Marcio Lassiter and JV Casio.
“With Powerade coming off a big win, we’re really wary of their momentum and confidence,” Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes said. “Dwayne Jones really completes that team and a strong team just got stronger.”
Powerade is also closing in on a playoff berth with a 3-2 slate, and coach Bo Perasol knows the stakes are in this game.
“We fully understand the consequence of a win or a loss,” said Perasol, whose Tigers led the Petron Boosters by as many as 30 points last Saturday before prevailing, 98-88. “We are prepared for Talk ‘N Text, however difficult that may be.”
David will continue to be the prime local option for Perasol.
Reyes seems to have found a reliable replacement for original import Omar Samhan in Donnell Harvey, who is 1-1 with the team but has churned out 20-20 games on both instances.
But Reyes knows that this game won’t be a match-up between Harvey and Jones, and that he would have to shut down Powerade’s trio of prolific guards in order to win this one.
“We must contain their Big Three,” Reyes said as David, Lassiter and Casio enjoyed relative success against the Talk ‘N Text defense in the Philippine Cup Finals, with David averaging more than 30 points a game.
Petron and Alaska, meanwhile, are tied at 3-3 and would be better off not losing tonight.
Only six teams will make it to the next round.
Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot and Nick Fazekas will be bannering the Petron charge, while 7-foot Adam Parada, LA Tenorio and Cyrus Baguio will be leading the Aces.
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