FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters
Talk 'N Text begins its bid to earn a piece of PBA history when it takes on rival Petron in Game One of their best-of-seven semifinals series in the 37th Philippine Cup at the Astrodome.

The Tropang Texters seek to become the first team in the last 26 years to repeat as All-Filipino champions. But the act is easier said than done.

Although the defending champions Text already practiced in full force during the three-week holiday break—including Ali Peek and Ranidel De Ocampo—coach Chot Reyes said the Texters’ health issue remains his major concern.
"It's 50-50," said Reyes. "Health and conditioning will definitely be factors, but so will hunger and execution."Peek, shot in the nape two months ago, has joined the team's practice as early as last week, and so did De Ocampo, who missed the Tropang Texters’ last four games.

But that doesn't mean Peek and De Ocampo will be 100 percent ready, especially with key stalwarts Jimmy Alapag and Kelly Williams are also playing hurt.

"My main concern is the game shape of Ranidel, Ali, Kelly and Jimmy," Reyes said.And then there's the Boosters themselves.After foiling the Texters' attempt to become just the fourth team to win the league’s Triple Crown last season, after Petron's stunning Governors Cup championship win, the Boosters will again relish its role of history-buster in Talk 'N Text’s bid for greatness.

Petron finished as the No. 3 team at the end of the eliminations and needed to complete a two-game sweep of Meralco in their best-of-three quarterfinal affair to arrange another showdown with the Tropang Texters.

And like their Governors Cup title series encounter, the Boosters consider themselves the underdog against the star-studded roster of the Texters, who won their two meetings in the eliminations.

"We will see how we can try to stop their running game. They beat us twice in the eliminations and we will have to find a way to get back at them," said coach Ato Agustin.Alapag, however, considers the semis an entirely different game, especially with Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot and rookie Chris Lutz stepping up their games during their playoff series against the Bolts.

"When its playoff time, it's back to zero-zero," said the reigning league MVP. — JVP, GMA News


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