MANILA, Philippines - After halting Talk n Text's unbeaten ride Friday, San Mig Coffee braces for a tough grind, expecting to meet the "real Talk n Text team" in Game Two of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-five title playoff tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Mixers have good reasons to be cautious of the Tropang Texters in their 5 p.m. tussle.
The Texters are determined to redeem themselves after their bid at a conference sweep were foiled in lopsided manner by the Mixers in the series opener Friday.
And it's a short race-to-three-games playoff it's so tough for any team to give away a 2-0 lead in such series.
"I just believe we're going to see a very different Talk n Text team in Game Two and it will be interesting to see how our guys respond," said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone.
"They are incredibly talented and a well-coached team and we expect them to come out firing on all cylinders. It will be up to us to keep our poise and don't change our approach to the game," Cone added. "To do that we're going to have to be a disciplined group."
Almost everyone agreed it’s uncharacteristic of the Tropang Texters to lose the way they did in Game One.
The opposing coaches agreed it’s about energy and intensity. Curiously, the supposed exhausted side overwhelmed the rested team with more fire and energy on the way to an emphatic 95-80 victory.
"They're more aggressive than we were. They really denied us on what we wanted to do. They came out with a lot of intensity and forced us into a lot of turnovers. It's uncharacteristic of us, but it happened," rued TnT coach Norman Black.
Black said i's on him to get his team ready mentally and physically for Game Two.
"My concern won't be what happened (in Game One) and how many points we lost. My concern is how to get the guys prepared for the next game," said Black.
"I don't think we’ll make too many adjustments. Instead, we just have to play with a little bit more fight, a little bit more energy and intensity," Black also said.
The two teams actually engaged in a furious fight in the first half marked by seven deadlocks and eight lead changes before the Texters fell apart.
Though held to their lowest first-quarter and first-half outputs in the conference, the Texters were there in the fight in the first 24 minutes of play.
But then they failed to keep up as the Mixers, playing a ninth game in 20 days, increased the pressure and pushed the tempo in the final half.
Thus the Texters saw their hopes for a conference sweep vanish in thin air. And they have to recover from their deflating Game One loss if they're to stop the Mixers from going all the way to win a third straight crown.