JASON Castro summed it up best when asked on what he thought made the difference in Talk `N Text’s Game one victory over Rain or Shine in the opener of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
“Yun (experience) ang advantage namin sa kanila,” he said after his 16-point, seven-rebound, three-assist performance in the defending champions’ 87-81 win on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“Parang mas kumportable ka na, di kagaya pag first time mo, or second time, medyo (nangangapa ka pa).”
The Tropang Texters are seeing action in their sixth Finals appearance in the last seven conferences, including their third straight in the Philippine Cup.
Castro was even adjudged the Finals MVP when the franchise first won the All-Filipino title two years ago.
Not that he’s undermining the championship experience of the Elasto Painters, who are in their second straight trip to the Finals after winning last season’s Governors Cup.
“Pero sila rin second time na nila (sa Finals), so almost the same lang din siguro.”
His teammate Larry Fonacier, however, isn’t about to be lulled into complacency by the Tropang Texters’ edge as far as championship experience is concerned.
“It’s a different story now, it’s a brand-new series. It doesn’t mean anything now,” said Fonacier of Talk `N Text’s past championship appearances.
But one thing both of them agreed is that the best-of-seven series is not going to be easy despite the Tropang Texters already taking a 1-0 lead.
“Mahirap i-predict itong championship na ito. Siguro magiging tough series,” said Castro.
To which Fonacier, last year’s Philippine Cup Finals MVP seconded, “It’s going to be more physical so we have to be ready.”