Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes had the look of a defeated man when he walked into the pressroom moments after his team’s 82-66 defeat to B-MEG in Game Five of the Commissioner’s Cup finals.
“Sometimes in life, you’ve got to know when there’s still something left. Baka naman wala na talaga,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes.
Reyes’ team is in the finals for the fifth straight conference, and despite adversity, has managed to win titles in three of the last four conferences. Talk ‘N Text is no stranger to coming back from the brink of defeat.
In the Philippine Cup semifinals, the Tropang Texters were trailing 3-1 in their best-of-seven series, but won three straight games to knock out the Petron Blaze Boosters. Talk ‘N Text went on to win the title in five games against the Powerade Tigers.
In their recent semifinal series against the tough Barako Bull Energy, the Tropang Texters again found themselves pushed to the wall, trailing 2-1, before bouncing back strong in the next two games to advance to the championship round.
But the battle against the Llamados is a different stage, according to Reyes.
“Against Petron, we were fresh because it was only the start of the season, which is why we managed to come back and win the series. Against Barako Bull, we were up against a team not as deep and as talented as this B-MEG squad,” said Reyes.
The coach said there’s little he could say to his players at this point to motivate them.
“Motivation is overrated. Players have to be self-motivated. You can give them speeches, at this point, but we just have to decide if we have to give a final push.
“But the way we were playing, it remains dubious. We play well one game, then absent the next game. We need to think hard about our desire to win the series,” said Reyes.
Tim Cone, however, isn’t buying it.
“It’s still anybody’s game at this point,” he said. “The pressure is on us to close it out.”
Cone, however, gave credit to his team’s effort.
“What’s the difference between two evenly-matched teams battling it out for the finals? It’s about about effort. This series has been won basically on effort,” he said.
“James basically played the whole second half, you could see in his body language he had a strong will to win. He was James yap at his best. Then, Denzel just took over. Ping (Marc Pingris) broke his finger, but he simply taped it up and went back to the game. It’s really about effort and we played great effort tonight.”
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