TALK ‘N Text goes for the kill and the franchise’s seventh league title when it faces the back-against-the-wall Rain or Shine in Game Six of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Tropang Texters have won the last two games of the best-of-seven title series to move within a win of annexing its second Commissioner’s Cup championship in five years.
But Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico knows closing out the series will not be easy.
“It’s not yet over. We know that it takes four games to win this series and we know the never-say-die character of Rain or Shine. We have to sustain the kind of effort we brought out in Game Five,” said Uichico, who is gunning for his ninth PBA title as a coach.
Uichico noted they don’t have control over the officiating, but they sure have control over their emotions.
“We don’t want the momentum to shift back to Rain or Shine. We have to control things that we must control, especially our attitude towards the game,” he added.
Game time is at 5 p.m.
Unlike Game Two when Talk ‘N Text relied too much on Jayson Castro, who scored a PBA career-best 44 points in a 116-108 loss, Uichico has done a fine job distributing the offense in the team’s last two victories.
Ranidel de Ocampo averaged 30 points on a 51-percent shooting clip in the last two games of the series.
Import Ivan Johnson, on the other hand, has kept his emotions in check in the last two games, averaging 23 points, while knocking down timely three-point bombs in the Tropang Texters’ 103-94 win in Game Five.
Uichico will try be to latest coach to win PBA titles with three different teams after the legendary Baby Dalupan, Tommy Manotoc, Norman Black, Chot Reyes and Yeng Guiao.
Meanwhile, Guiao said stopping a well-oiled Talk ‘N Text requires more than just token resistance.
“We would have wanted to be up 3-2 and maybe, we will just try to live up to our tags as the underdogs,” said Guiao.
“It would be nice to see a Game Seven. We’re just trying to win one and force a Game Seven, but we can’t do that unless we play defense.”