THE numbers are daunting enough.
Talk 'N Text holds a 12-3 (win-loss) record against Rain or Shine over the last three seasons. The Tropang Texters, in fact, have won their last seven meetings against the Elasto Painters, including two this season alone.
According to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III, Talk 'N Text is the only team Rain or Shine has not beaten over the league's last four conferences.
The story has been the same in playoff games. The Tropang Texters have won their last three playoff series against Rain or Shine and are 9-1 in the two teams' head-to-head match-up in the playoffs.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao admits Talk 'N Text remains a riddle which his team has yet to solve.
"Malakas talaga sila eh, we have to admit that and we respect their abilities, we can’t deny the fact that wala namang team na kaya silang dominahin," Guiao said of the Tropang Texters.
However, Guiao remained defiant, saying the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals will be a whole new ballgame and the Elasto Painters are ready to rewrite history beginning in Game One on Wednesday.
"This is a new series, the conditions are different and 'yung record, we look at it as a challenge and motivation for us," said the multi-titled coach. "Dapat naman huwag kaming ilampaso ng team na ito.
"We also don’t want to dwell on the past, we’re starting something in the history of the franchise."
Instead of Rain or Shine's 0-7 record against Talk 'N Text, the number Guiao cares to remember is the team's 9-1 record since Wayne Chism joined the team by replacing Rick Jackson.
Rain or Shine is also unbeaten in the playoffs so far.
Guiao, who is eyeing his second championship with Rain or Shine and seventh of his career, also pointed out that Talk 'N Text is a team in transition from the Jimmy Alapag era to a new age led by Jayson Castro.
It is in this stage where the Tropang Texters are most vulnerable, he said.
"Talk 'N Text is a solid team, it’s difficult to find weaknesses, in their rotation, in their system, in anything, We look at all the depth, they are good in all the departments," said Guiao.
"But Talk 'N Text iis probably in transition right now, from the Jimmy Alapag era to the Jayson Castro era. That’s a transition there, but once the transition is complete, TnT is almost invincible.
"So in the meantime, with the transition from the Alapag era to Castro era, there’s probably chinks in the armor. If we can find it, we could hope to complete a championship for the first time in a long time.
"In the transition, we might find some weaknesses there."
With the lopsided 0-7 score in their recent head-to-head duels, Guiao also aired the hope that the law of averages will soon catch up with the Tropang Texters.
"In terms of probabilities, it’s about time na umangat na kami from semis to finals and sa dami na ng opporutniries namin, matatalo mo din sila," said the Rain or Shine coach.
"Based on the law of averages, we have a chance of pulling it through."