FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters
Published on November 28, 2011

PETRON Blaze coach Ato Agustin knows Alaska may be down, but definitely not out. That is why he keeps stressing to his players the importance of being on their toes. 

“Hindi kami puwedeng mag-relax,” said Agustin on the eve of his streaking Boosters’ rematch Tuesday with an Alaska squad on the brink in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

 “Ang Alaska mahirap na kalaban, lalo na ngayong kailangang-kailangan nilang manalo,” added Agustin. “Kaya kailangan ding handa kami. Kailangan mas aggressive kami at di puwedeng aalis sa gameplan.”

A win by Petron and a loss by undermanned Talk N Text to B-MEG later in the evening will push the Boosters to a share of the lead with the Tropang Texters. 

The Governors Cup champion could even take the No. 1 seeding into the quarterfinals if it sweeps its remaining elimination round assignments against Ginebra on Dec. 2 and TNT four days later. 

“Nandiyan na ang pagkakataon kaya dapat samantalahin,” noted Agustin, whose team has been unbeaten for the month of November, its five-game streak coincidentally sparked by an 86-80 win over Alaska last Nov. 5 at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City. 

Alaska’s hopes of making it past the elims hinge mainly on it winning its last three games while Powerade, currently clinging on to the eighth spot and one-and-a-half games ahead of the Aces, loses its last two. 

Alaska coach Joel Banal, however, insists it is on the horizon that his players’ mind-set is focused on. “Right now, we don’t want to worry about the next round,” said Banal, whose team next takes on TNT and Rain or Shine. 

“Our aim playing Petron tomorrow is to learn how to beat the big teams.” There should be lessons learned in their first meeting, when Joseph Yeo exploded for a personal season-high 27 points and Petron’s defense held Alaska scoreless in the last 1:35. 

“Kung titingnan ang nakaraan naming limang panalo, na-hold namin ang mga kalaban to an average below 80 points,” Agustin pointed out. 

“So kailangan ganu’n pa din ang dapat naming gawin. Kailangan naming mag-stick sa gameplan. Iyun ang key du’n. We have to be more focused on defense.” (nc)


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