TWO-TIME defending champion Talk ‘N Text and Rain or Shine begin their best-of-seven title series for the 2012-13 PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
It will be the 106th championship series – best-of-three, best-of-five or best-of-seven – since the league began in 1975.
How important is Game One in a best-of-seven Finals?
Sixty-five out of 94 teams which won Game One of a best-of-seven series went on to win the series (a winning percentage of 69.1%), including 16 of the last 17 dating back to the 2009-10 Philippine Cup semis.
In a PBA Finals, the last eight Game One winners, 11 of the last 13, and 15 of the last 18 (or 83%) went on to win the title.
Overall in a PBA Finals, 48 of 68 teams which won Game One went on to win the title, a higher 70.6% chance.
In the last 18 PBA Finals, the only three Game One winners that didn’t end up winning the championship were:
- Barangay Ginebra in the 2009 Fiesta Conference (vs. San Miguel Beer)
- Alaska in the 2008-09 Philippine Cup (vs. Talk ‘N Text)
- San Miguel Beer in the 2006-07 Philippine Cup (vs. Barangay Ginebra)
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In its five PBA Finals appearances over the last six conferences, Talk ‘N Text went on to win the championship when it won Game One, which happened thrice, and lost the championship everytime it lost the series opener.
For its part, Rain or Shine has always won Game One in all its three previous best-of-seven series, one of them in a PBA Finals. The Elasto Painters went to win the series only in the last two, the recent semis and the 2012 PBA Governors Cup, both against San Mig Coffee/B-Meg.
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Over the last eight seasons, this is the seventh time the Nos. 1 & 3 seeds in the conference playoffs are the two teams figuring in the Last Dance.
Curiously, in those previous six, the No. 3 seed went on to win the championship four times including three of the last four.
- 2012 Commissioner’s Cup No. 3 B-Meg beat No. 1 Talk ‘N Text, 4-3
- 2011 Commissioner’s Cup No. 1 Talk ‘N Text beat Barangay Ginebra, 4-2
- 2008 Fiesta Conference No. 3 Barangay Ginebra beat No. 1 Air21, 4-3
- 2009-10 Philippine Cup No. 3 Purefoods swept No. 1 Alaska, 4-0
- 2006 Philippine Cup No. 1 Purefoods beat No. 3 Red Bull, 4-2
- 2005-06 Fiesta Conference No. 3 Red Bull beat No. 1 Purefoods, 4-2
Talk ‘N Text is the No. 1 seed and Rain or Shine No. 3 in the ongoing conference playoffs that is about to end.