THE way Talk 'N Text is playing in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, high-flying forward KG Canaleta won’t be surprised if the team achieves another milestone in the long history of Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league.
Already assured of a place in the Finals of the midseason tournament, the flagship franchise of the MVP group now stands just three wins away from completing the first ever conference sweep in PBA annals.
The Tropang Texters completed a nine-game sweep of the eliminations and then eliminated Barangay Ginebra and Rain or Shine one after the other in the playoffs to hike their record to 13-0 entering the best-of-five title series.
In the 39-year history of the PBA, no teams has won a championship unbeaten.
Canaleta however, believes Talk `N Text can be up to the task.
“Tingin ko kaya naman namin yun,” admitted Canaleta during the launch of the new cellphone brand DTC of which he is one of the celebrity product endorsers.
“Pero sabi nga ni coach Norman (Black), one game at a time lang.”
Canaleta said the confidence the Tropang Texters built in the course of the winning streak is one major factor going for them.
“Kasi maganda ang nilalaro ng team, lahat ng players alam ang role saka bagay na bagay sa amin ngayon si Richard Howell. Naibibigay niya yung kulang ng team sa ilalim,” said the PBA's five-time slamdunk champion.
Although considered a newcomer at the Talk 'N Text camp after having been acquired by the team just last January in a trade for Sean Anthony and Eliud Poligrates, Canaleta can easily attest to the good working relationship and camaraderie within the organization run by Manny V. Pangilinan.
“Maganda ang samahan namin. Yun naman ang mahalaga. Lahat nagkaka-intindihan at nagkaka-unawaan. Kaya rin siguro isa ang Talk 'N Text sa pinaka-successful team,” added the pride of Gerona, Tarlac.
As for the Tropang Texters’ opponent in the Finals, Canaleta said he’s caught between San Mig and Air21 as he had been part of both teams in the past.
“Pareho kasi akong may mga kaibigan sa dalawang teams na yun,” he said while letting out his usual timid laughter.
But pressed to pick which team he wants to win the semifinals series and oppose Talk 'N Text in the Finals, Canaleta said he wants Air21 to make it.
“Sana Air 21 ang manalo, hindi sa ayaw ko ang San Mig. Galing din naman ako dati dun,” he said. “Siyempre sa Air21 close ko pa halos lahat ng players dun dahil last January lang ako umalis dun,” said Canaleta.
“Mas matutuwa ako kung Air21 ang makakalaban namin kasi magandang achievement 'yun para sa kanila. Yung San Mig naman laging nasa finals na.”
Asked if he is rooting for Air21 only because he considers the Express an easy championship rival for the Tropang Texters than the Mixers, Canaleta shook his head.
“Hindi ah. Maganda ang run ng Air21 ngayon. Saka mabibigat ang tinatalo nila. San Miguel tapos San Mig pinapahirapan nila sa semis. So hindi mo talaga masasabi 'yun,” he said.