Most PBA coaches believe Talk n Text has the edge over Rain or Shine, pointing to the Texters’ roster power, experience and motivation as a great package that can produce a Philippine Cup “Three-Peat” for the Smart/PLDT franchise.
Coaches Ryan Gregorio, Tim Cone, Junel Baculi and Luigi Trillo said it’s a tough call but predicted the Texters would stretch their dynasty just the same, prevailing over the Elasto Painters in their best-of-seven titular series beginning Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Picking Rain or Shine over Talk n Text were newly installed Barangay Ginebra San Miguel mentor Alfrancis Chua and Petron Blaze bench chieftain Olsen Racela.
It’s no surprise that Talk n Text coach Norman Black and Rain or Shine counterpart Yeng Guiao have expressed confidence on their respective bids.
The Tropang Texters and the E-Painters bundled out the Alaska Aces and the San Mig Coffee Mixers, respectively, to arrange their race-to-four-games titular series.
Semifinal losing coaches Cone and Trillo agree the Texters should be the slight favorites.
“It’s hard for me to doubt RoS but Talk n Text just seems to play clutch basketball. They don’t crack. If you press me, I’ll say TnT in six games, but that’s really just a guess,” said Cone.
“Tough one. Too close to call. Both experienced coaches and both teams playing well. I would have to go with Talk n Text if I was put in a spot. Rain or Shine won’t make it easy though. Should go 6 or 7 games,” said Trillo.
Gregorio and Baculi concurred.
Baculi is impressed with TnT’s experience, maturity and mental toughness and with RoS’ exuberance and physical toughness. In the end, however, the newly appointed GlobalPort mentor feels it’s going to be TnT in six games.
Gregorio has more faith on the Tropang Texters, believing they can dispose of the E-Painters in a shorter series.
“Experience, roster power and motivation are the domain of TnT. (They’ve) been there, done that. The Finals appearance is a testament of how the management has been able to steer the ship towards the right direction to make them the most successful franchise in the past five years – an envy of other franchises,” said Gregorio.
At the same time, Gregorio cautioned the Texters not to take the E-Painters for granted.
“(The RoS’) strength relies on teamwork. That is a potent factor which TnT must not take for granted,” Gregorio said. “RoS gate-crashed the Finals once again. Not picked to make it to the Finals, they have indeed proved naysayers wrong by barging into the Finals once again – a fantastic journey considering that they really do not boast of any major superstar.”
That’s not lost on Chua and Racela.
“Gandang matchup ‘to. Parehong-pareho sa lahat ng positions. The advantage of RoS is the point spot. Expect a lot of post-ups by (Paul) Lee, (Gabe) Norwood and (Chris) Tiu because the points of TnT are much smaller. Pareho na sa ibang spots. Sa totoo lang mahirap pumili sa dalawa but I think RoS lamang ng kaunti,” said Chua.
“I like Rain or Shine’s chances. They’ve already gone through so many battles as a team even winning a championship just last conference. So experience won’t be a problem. They also match up well against TnT in every position. I think a tough, physical series will be a problem for Talk n Text,” said Racela. (SB)
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
Copyright © PBA
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate: c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94