Talk ‘N Text and B-MEG parade their new imports as the semifinal round of the 2011 PBA Governors’ Cup kicks off Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Scottie Reynolds is suiting up for the Tropang Texters when they face Alaska in the opener at 5:30 p.m. while Myron Allen debuts for the Llamados, who will go up against Rain or Shine in the main tiff at 7:45 p.m.
The six teams in the semis carry over their respective win-loss mark after the elimination phase, so each game will be crucial for them.
Talk ‘N Text topped the elims with 6-2 mark and beat the Aces badly in their first meeting, 101-75, but head coach Chot Reyes said they will be facing a different Alaska team this time.
“This is a very difficult test,” said Reyes. “Alaska is the hottest team and we’ve been struggling. We have to raise the level of our game to compete.”
The Texters are coming off a 145-116 shellacking of Air21 in Maurice Baker’s final game.
His replacement, Reynolds, is a former Villanova standout who had an impressive stint with the Springfield Armor in the NBA D-League.
The Aces are on a streak after starting the tournament with an 0-2 mark, having won five of their last six games to finish the elims in second spot tied with Petron and Barangay Ginebra at 5-3.
Alaska mentor Tim Cone is confident that his wards can give Talk ‘N Text a tough stance this time around, especially with import Jason Forte playing impressively in his past few games.
“Talk N Text handled us with ease the first time around. But we’ve come a long way since we last played them,” said Cone. “We’re thinking we can put up a lot better fight this time around.”
“It’s the playoffs. No one’s going to give an inch.”
The Llamados’ Allen, who was officially measured at 5’11, will be taking the spot of Darnell Hinson who had to go home to attend a custody hearing in the United States.
B-MEG and the Elasto Painters are tied at the bottom of the semifinal cast with 4-4, and both teams know they can’t afford to lose.
“I hope naka-adjust na siya sa system ng team,” said B-MEG head coach Jorge Gallent of his new reinforcement, who arrived last Sunday.
“Kasi nga, hindi siya familiar sa PBA style of play kaya iyung na-adopt na niya ang system namin na lang ang the best we could hope for from him as of now.”
Rain or Shine lost to the Kings, 90-98, at the end of the elimination phase.
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» Barangay Ginebra needs â€˜special effortâ€™ to overcome Alaskaâ€™s twice-to-beat edge, says Tim Cone
» Rain or Shine reflects on lessons learned in Philippine Cup exit