FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters
MANILA, Philippines - Playoff top seeds B-Meg and Talk n Text are not looking far ahead, knowing their twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals is not a sure ticket to the next round of the PBA Philippine Cup.

The Llamados and the Tropang Texters insist the Powerade Tigers and the Barako Bull Energy are tough threats, boasting of talents and skills that can match up with any team in the league.

Talk n Text takes on Barako Bull at 5:15 p.m. while B-Meg tangles with Powerade at 7:30 p.m. at the start of the quarterfinals tomorrow at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Powerade and Barako Bull, being the two lowest seeds, need to win two in a row to make it to the semifinals.

Needless to say, B-Meg and Talk n Text don’t want to go to a second game, but both are convinced they have to work hard to advance on their first try.

“We’ll have to be sharp right at the get-go. There’s a very little margin for error,” said B-Meg coach Tim Cone.

“Powerade, outside of Ginebra, has been the hot team down the stretch of the conference, so our assignment is especially tough,” Cone added.

“They beat us the last time plus we’re coming off a tough game while they’re well rested. It wouldn’t have been a problem if we’re complete but is an issue now that we’re decimated,” said Talk n Text coach Chot Reyes.

Both coaches also said they have tough matchups to deal with.

“Their young guys are really coming on strong,” said Cone, referring to Powerade players like Marcio Lassiter, Jvee Casio, Josh Vanlandingham and Sean Anthony.

“We must find a way to match up with their bigs without Ali Peek and Ranidel de Ocampo. We also have to contain Willie Miller and Dylan Ababou in the perimeter,” said Reyes.

Talk n Text is out to be the first team in almost three decades to defend the all-Filipino championship. The Texters, however, are chasing the feat with an injury-depleted lineup.

TnT lost three of its last five games with the team slowed down by injuries to Peek, De Ocampo, Jimmy Alapag, Ryan Reyes, Aaron Aban and Jared Dillinger.

The Llamados, meanwhile, are riding the momentum of a searing eight-game streak going to the playoffs.

Cone, however, insists the Tigers have the momentum of their own.

The Tigers won three of their last four games, and their victories included an 18-point blowout of the Clickers and a 35-point rout of the Texters.

They closed out their elims stint with a 99-95 decision over the Energy Tuesday.

“What I’m sure of is we won’t back down to whatever challenge we face,” said Powerade coach BoPerasol.


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