MANILA, Philippines – Talk 'N Text cruised to its 11th straight win in the PBA Commissioner's Cup by carving out a 91-85 win over Rain or Shine in Game 1 of their semifinals series.
Tropang Texters' Jimmy Alapag, however, said winning the semis is more important than just racking up victories. He said they need to win Game 2 on Wednesday to gain a 2-0 series advantage against the Elasto Painters.
“We’re really not too conscious of our record,” he said in the PBA website. “Our focus is on Rain or Shine. They’re a tough team and a championship team, and we’re happy to get the first game in a best-of-five, but all our focus now is on Wednesday.”
Yeng Guiao’s Rain or Shine is expected to make adjustments in Game Two, particularly with the way they defend Talk ‘N Text.
Guiao maintained that even an undefeated team like Talk ‘N Text can be beaten.
“One thing is certain: we feel we can beat this team, and we’ll try again on Wednesday. We’ll give it a better try on Wednesday with Gabe [Norwood] coming in to play,” the Rain or Shine coach said.
Game 2 is expected to be intense between both squads especially after tempers flared in the series opener.
Texters import Richard Howell nearly had a run-in with Guiao in Game 1 while the coach was complaining about the officiating.
Guiao was contesting a non-call in an out-of-bounds play when Howell approached him, triggering a confrontation. Fortunately, cooler heads to stepped in to separate them.
“I think that will probably be the way the series is gonna go,” Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black said.
“It’s gonna be intense, it’s gonna be physical, it’s gonna be rugged. I think we just have to do a good job of controlling our emotions and our composure, focusing on playing basketball.”