SEAN Anthony finds himself in a situation that’s all too familiar when NLEX takes on Talk ‘N Text in the quarterfinals of the PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Road Warriors forward is once again part of a squad that’s heading into the playoffs with a mountain to climb against a twice-to-beat squad in the Tropang Texters.
But Anthony doesn’t mind.
“Every playoff I’ve been in was twice-to-win disadvantage,” the NLEX workhorse said. “We’ve overcome it before, so we’re just thinking about one game at a time. That’s really been the key.”
In the 2011-12 all-Filipino conference, Anthony was a member of the Powerade Tigers team that entered the postseason as the eighth and last seed, but stunned the top-ranked B-Meg Llamados and even reached the finals where they lost to Talk ‘N Text that put an end to their Cinderella run.
More recently, in the 2014 Commissioner’s Cup, Anthony was then a vital cog for an Air21 Express side that toppled twice-to-beat San Miguel Beer in the first round, before losing to eventual champion San Mig Coffee in the semifinals.
Now part of a different team, Anthony is hoping for the same result for the Road Warriors, starting in the 5:15 encounter against their sister team.
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Texters coach Jong Uichico stressed that having a twice-to-beat edge can make them complacent.
“Maganda yung twice to beat, but sometimes it gives you a feeling of having a tomorrow, so we can’t think that way,” the champion coach said. “Dapat feeling namin is we have to win that game. Kami ang dapat mag-twice to beat.”
The Road Warriors, though, had the Texters’ number in the elimination round where they beat them, 107-101.
“I believe we were just lucky that we caught TNT by surprise in the elimination, but we need more than luck this time,” Road Warriors coach Boyet Fernandez said. “We need to be more precise if we want to give ourselves a chance to win.”
NLEX completed a sweep against their sister teams as they also beat Meralco, 93-91.
“Pag dating dun (sa playoffs), wala ng sister team,” Uichico said. “It’s who plays well that day and we’ll just try to win and hopefully we get to the next round.”