Talk ‘N Text begins its title-retention bid against a hungry B-MEG side in Game One of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven championship series Monday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Game time is set at 7 p.m. with the Tropang Texters eyeing their second straight title, while the Llamados are looking for their first under coach Tim Cone.
Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes admits that the series against B-MEG will be difficult mainly because of the size and talent of the Llamados and having the 13-time champion Cone on the bench.
“Taking a look at B-MEG’s lineup, we have to deal with it. We need to find a way and they are the biggest, deepest and tallest team in the league compared,” said Reyes, who is eyeing his ninth PBA crown.
The Tropang Texters reached the finals for the fifth straight time after conquering Barako Bull in a highly-physical best-of-five semifinal series that went to full rout.
Reyes said the match-up against the Energy resulted to injuries to key players like Kelly Williams (fractured cheekbone) and import Donnell Harvey (fractured nose).
“But we’ve been through this a long time and we are ready for the challenge,” Reyes added.
B-MEG defeated Barangay Ginebra in their own semifinal series, 3-1, and Cone said it prepared his Llamados for the finals.
“It was a grueling series against Ginebra. Although we won 3-1 and the last game was a blowout, it was terrifically hard. You have to handle the Ginebra fans if you want to beat Ginebra,” said Cone.
He said the Tropang Texters are rich with championship experience and their confidence is pretty high.
“The experience you gather doing this over and over again, their confidence level is extremely high. Such experience takes them through rough times. We’re hungrier and fresher, though,” Cone added.
This will be the sixth time Reyes and Cone will be facing off in the finals with the former holding a 3-2 edge in their head-to-head duel.
“I enjoy beating Chot more than beating anyone else in this league but our friendship remains solid,” said Cone.
“It’s nothing new to us and our friendship will not be affected. We’re friends but we’re professionals. We both hate to lose. After this series, we will play a game of golf,” said Reyes.
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