TALK `N Text needs to be mentally tough when it faces a rugged Rain or Shine side in the main game of the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Coach Jong Uichico felt the Tropang Texters were mentally ‘soft’ when they allowed the Alaska Aces to chip away their 18-point, second-half lead, leading to a 100-98 meltdown behind Calvin Abueva’s buzzer-beating floater last Tuesday.
So even though Talk ‘N Text (1-2) has the size advantage over Rain or Shine (2-1), Uichico stressed the importance of the team imposing its size on the opposition in their 5:15 p.m. match.
“Depends how you describe small. Abueva is small, but he plays big,” Uichico said, pointing to the 6-foot-1 Alaska forward, who torched the Tropang Texters for 26 points and 22 rebounds.
“Maybe you have a 6-9, but who plays like a 6-1. So you’d rather have a 6-1 that plays like a 6-9,” he added.
“We were taller than Alaska, but we were beaten by a 6-1. So kami, we have to play big because we have size.”
Talk ‘N Text is facing a Rain or Shine squad whose confidence is at a high following its 117-88 demolition of expansion team KIA Motors last Wednesday.
The Elasto Painters drained 10 triples against the Sorento, with Paul Lee marking his return from a one-game absence by nailing four three-point shots on the way to a game-high 22 points. Tyrone Tang came off the bench to add 15, spiked by three triples.
Ryan Arana, who missed the game against KIA due to a hamstring injury, is expected to play against Talk ‘N Text, adding more firepower for the guard-heavy team of coach Yeng Guiao.
“We’re hoping that chemistry and our confidence builds up with the win over KIA,” said Guiao, whose team eyes its third straight victory after opening the season with an 87-79 loss to San Miguel Beer.