Basketball

Defending champ San Mig Coffee opens playoffs vs Meralco; Talk ‘N Text, Petron renew rivalry

PBA/Nuki Sabio

PBA/Nuki Sabio

San Mig Coffee and Meralco open their best-of-three quarterfinal series in the 2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Bolts and the Mixers face off at 5:15 p.m. as both teams gun for a crucial 1-0 lead in the series.

In the second game, Talk ‘N Text and Petron Blaze meet anew as they start their own quarterfinal series at 7:30 p.m.

San Mig Coffee, the defending champion of the tournament, has beaten Meralco in their two elimination round meetings but coach Tim Cone said the quarterfinals is a different story.

“They are a tough match-up for us with (Eric) Dawson, (Mark) Cardona and (Chris) Ross,” said Cone. “It’s a short series, so that makes Game One key.”

Bolts coach Ryan Gregorio knows they have yet to beat the Coffee Mixers in the conference but he’s confident about their chances.

“Despite our lower seeding and two setbacks against San Mig Coffee in the elimination round, we are determined to compete and find ways to win,” said Gregorio.

“It’s true that they have our number and as such they will come in as the overwhelming favorites. That is why we have to play smart. Our offense must be efficient and our defensive coverages must be intact.”

In the second game, the Boosters hope to repeat against the Tropang Texters whom they beat last Wednesday in the final day of eliminations.

“For us to beat Talk ‘N Text, kailangan maganda ang laro namin,” said Petron head coach Olsen Racela. “Talk ‘N Text is a very strong team, maraming weapons. Dapat talagang depense ang pagtuunan naming ng pansin.”

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