Despite romping through a short-handed Powerade squad in Digos, Davao del Sur, 116-100, in the first game of the Philippine Cup finals, the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters aren’t taking things for granted.
“Satisfied, but not content,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes about his team’s performance in Game One. “Still a lot of room for improvement.”
The Texters are an almost unanimous favorite among basketball observers to take the Philippine Cup crown. While the Powerade Tigers are playing some of their best basketball in these playoffs, they lag behind Talk ‘N Text in both experience and bench depth, according to several PBA coaches.
Reyes, though, refuses to buy into the hype. He said he was “alarmed” about being named favorites going into the series.
“B-MEG and Rain or Shine were favored, too,” said Reyes. “Being favored or not has no bearing on the game.”
The Tropang Texters flashed their vaunted depth early in Game One, pouring in 38 first-quarter points en route to an early 17-point lead. They followed it up with another prolific scoring quarter, netting 30 points in the second period as several players chipped in contributions in a dominant first half.
They also played well defensively, holding Gary David to just seven points in the first half. David, who averaged 29.3 points against Rain or Shine in the semifinals, scored his first field goal more than four minutes into the second quarter, though he eventually finished with 19 points.
But Reyes was quick to point out that Powerade was missing number one overall pick JVee Casio in Game One.
“We just caught them off kasi wala si JVee,” he said after the game. “It will be a completely different team when Casio comes back.”
Reyes insists that the Texters must not let up if they want to successfully defend their All-Filipino title, something that hasn’t been done in 27 years.
“Keep pushing and let them know when they’re slacking,” Reyes said of what he plans to do to keep his players from getting complacent.
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