FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters
IF there is one team that badly needs this holiday break prior to the coming PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, it’s no less than the defending champion itself, Talk `N Text. 

Although the Tropang Texters salvaged a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs by finishing as the second ranked team at the end of the eliminations, they hobbled for the most part of their 14-game campaign as key players were saddled with injuries one after the other. 

The casualties include the team’s backcourt of Jimmy Alapag, Jayson Castro, Jarred Dilinger and Ryan Reyes, together with big men Ranidel de Ocampo, Aaron Aban and Ali Peek.

That’s the reason why Chot Reyes, the ever articulate Talk `N Text coach, heaved a sigh of relief when his team got the job done of securing a seat in the semis, a best-of-seven series, by disposing seventh-ranked Barako Bull, 81-79, in their quarterfinal showdown. 

“It was important for us to win this because we needed the long rest,” said Reyes shortly after the Dec. 14 win Castro made possible with a clutch drive to the basket at the buzzer. 

“It was the driving motivation for us to get that long rest. Fortunately, we got it.” 

The long rest translates to a 21-day break for the reigning champions, certainly enough time for hurting players who had been in and out of active duty to heal their injuries and recuperate their battered bodies. 

But the needed break doesn’t mean the Tropang Texters, aiming to become the first team in the last 26 years to win the All-Filipino title back-to-back, will have to take things easy and enjoy the holidays.  

“Our injured players are undergoing aggressive treatment,” Reyes disclosed. 

“At the same time, we’re balancing rest and recovery with practice and keeping in shape through this break.” 

The Tropang Texters actually began their full practice the day after Christmas, their first in 12 days following their final game against Barako Bull. 

Reyes knows deeply that he needs his entire team healthy for the duration of the semis as the Tropang Texters have no less than the Petron Blaze Booters for their opponents in a rematch of their 2011 Governors Cup Finals. 

Talk `N Text owned its head-to-head match up with Petron, the team that foiled the Tropang Texters’ Grand Slam bid, this conference, 2-0, both wins earned at the expense of a roster orphaned by several key players. 

But in a long, grueling series against a tough and talented adversary, injuries are definitely a no-no. “So we’re hoping everyone’s ready by January 5,” said Reyes pertaining to the series opener at the Astrodome.


cool :D


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