Talk ‘N Text hopes it has enough strength to counter the physical play of Barako Bull as the defending champions looks to stay alive in Game Four of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals Monday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
With their backs against the wall, the Tropang Texters seek to tie the series in their 6:45 p.m. with the Energy.
Barako Bull grabbed a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series with an 85-81 escape in Game Three last Saturday in another highly physical encounter marred by Jimmy Alapag’s ejection.
Energy coach Junel Baculi said they will definitely shoot for the win and not give Talk ‘N Text any chance at all.
“I think if they win on Monday, we are in trouble,” Baculi admitted. “I just hope we can show the same effort, intensity and desire.”
Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes admitted that Barako Bull’s “dirty plays” are taking the toll on his players but they will fight back according to the rules of the sport.
“We’re basketball players, not a bunch of brawlers or cheap short artists. We’ll continue playing the game the way it should be played,” said Reyes.
“If that’s not enough to get us to the finals, so be it. It’s not worth threatening the careers of our players.”
The reigning Coach of the Year winner said import Donnell Harvey has a broken nose and has two cuts on the forehead while other Tropang Texters are recuperating from respective injures they got in the previous encounters.
“We’ll just have to play through their roughness and dirty play. We need to learn the art of cheap shot ala [Ronald] Tubid and [Mick] Pennisi or kiss our finals hopes goodbye,” he said.
Tubid was responsible in the ejection of Alapag as the reigning MVP was called for two technical fouls with the Barako Bull player involved on those two occasions.
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