Talk ‘N Text, Petron Blaze start finals duel

PBA/Nuki Sabio

Talk ‘N Text begins its bid to essay the fifth Grand Slam in PBA history as it battles Petron Blaze in game 1 of the PBA Governors’ Cup finals Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Tropang Texters and the Boosters begin their best-of-seven showdown at 7 p.m.

Only four teams have been able to win a triple crown in league histoy: Crispa, in 1976 and in 1983, San Miguel Beer in 1989, and Alaska in 1996.

And that’s what Talk ‘N Text wants to accomplish this season — to make it one of the truly elite teams in the 36-year history of the PBA.

But Tropang Texters head coach Chot Reyes knows that Petron Blaze will go all out to try to deny them that feat.

The Boosters are also out to avenge their Philippine Cup finals loss to Talk ‘N Text, back when the Petron franchise was still called the San Miguel Beermen.

Talk ‘N Text finished the elimination and semifinal stages with a 9-3 slate, but two of those losses came at the hands of Petron, which is  why Reyes said his team won’t have it easy in the finals.

“We must first focus on coming out and playing or best in Game 1,” he said. “They have our number and we need to figure out on how to beat them.”

The Boosters won their elimination round showdown, 101-96, while playing without import Jeremy Wise, who was injured. They repeated the feat last Friday, 98-83, although the game was no-bearing for Talk ‘N Text even as Petron Blaze was still fighting for a finals spot.

Head coach Ato Agustin said beating the Tropang Texters twice in the conference showed that they have a shot at the crown.

“Malakas talaga sila pero we were able to prove that we can beat them,” said Agustin.

For Agustin and the Boosters, the Governors’ Cup finals is a chance at redemption. They lost in six games to the Tropang Texters in the Philippine Cup finals before having a forgettable stint in the Commissioners’ Cup, where they finished last.

Reyes said they are aware of Petron’s source of motivation, but noted that his wards are also pumped up to be in the finals.

“Obviously our motivation is the triple crown but we can’t look far ahead,” said Reyes, who will try to join Virgilio ‘Baby’ dalupan, Tommy Manotoc, Norman Black and Tim Cone as the only coaches to have won a Grand Slam in the PBA.

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