IT’S going to be a `Finals’ atmosphere.
That’s how Marc Pingris sees reigning champion San Mig Super Coffee’s best-of-five PBA Governors Cup semifinals series against top seed Talk N Text which kicks off Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The match up comes just a month after the two teams slugged it out for the Commissioner’s Cup championship won by the Mixers.
The victory was the second straight PBA championship for the Mixers, moving them within one more title of completing a rare Grand Slam finish.
But it’s a road to glory that won’t be easy, according to Pingris.
“Parang Finals ito (semifinal series against Talk ‘N Text). Ituturing mong semis, pero ituturing mo na sobrang bigat na laban. Parang Game One ng Finals,” said Pingris shortly after helping the Mixers knock off the fifth seed San Miguel Beermen, 97-90 on Tuesday in their quarterfinal duel at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Pingris descibes the Tropang Texters as an “all-star” team that has a solid core of championship-caliber veterans led by high-scoring import Paul Harris.
“Lahat naman eh mahirap kalabanin. Pero iba ang lineup at level nila (Tropang Texters). Matagal na kasi sila magkasama at dumagdag pa si KG (Canaleta). Eh lahat shooters kaya parang all-stars itong makakalaban namin eh,” explained the 32-year-old energetic San Mig forward.
Pingris said the series also gives him an opportunity to redeem himself from a poor defensive job he had during the Mixers’ 88-92 loss to the Tropang Texters last week at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Gilas Pilipinas stalwart said the loss was a bitter pill to swallow, considering he failed to contain the hot-shooting Harris, who buried nine three-point shots on the way to a 39-point explosion that game.
“Sigurado ako ang i-a-assign kay Harris. Pero katulad lang ng sinabi ni coach (Tim Cone) sa akin, huwag akong maiinis kapag nakaka-shot siya kasi kung saan-saan na siya nakalaro na bansa,” he said.
“Last time kasi kapag nakaka-shoot siya, naiinis ako, pati opensa ko naapektuhan tuloy.”