San Mig Coffee's James Mays drives to the basket against Air 21's Asi Taulava. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Talk ‘N Text may have the better import, but San Mig Coffee has the edge in experience, according to PBA players who took their pick in the Commissioner’s Cup finals.
GlobalPort forward Jay Washington and Ginebra center Greg Slaughter believe Tropang Texters import Richard Howell will play a big role in the best-of-five title series.
“Talk ‘N Text has the edge because they look really good right now. Their import is a beast,” Washington said in the PBA website.
Slaughter agreed. “Picking between the two is a tough one, but I think Talk ‘N Text has the edge because of their import,” he explained.
Howell, who is leading the race for the Best Import award, averages 22.8 points and 19.9 rebounds per game. He is a vital ingredient in Talk ‘N Text’s 16-0 run in the Commissioner’s Cup.
Alaska coach Luigi Trillo, for his part, said the Texters own “a very slight advantage,” although San Mig Coffee’s experience could make a difference in the finals.
“San Mig has so much experience and that is sure to play a factor in this series,” he said.
Air21’s Asi Taulava, whose Express team bowed to the Mixers in the semis, said it will be very hard to match San Mig Coffee, which is making its third straight championship appearance.
“You just saw how they played tonight, right? It’s gonna be tough to beat that team,” Taulava said following their loss to the Mixers on Wednesday.
But the Fil-Tongan believes that it will be a tight race between the two squads, expecting the best-of-five series to go the full route.
“Both teams are rich in championship experience. It’s gonna be an amazing end to the conference,” said Taulava. “I think it’s gonna go five. It’s gonna be a battle down there.”