A FOCUSED Talk ‘N Text side is unfazed by the odds, determined to overcome a disappointing trend for the franchise in Game Sevens.
The Texters have actually lost in five of the six times they have played a Game Seven. Their last setback was to the Denzel Bowles-led BMeg in overtime in the 2012 edition of the midseason tournament.
But that doesn’t bother the entire team ahead of another sudden-death clash in a best-of-seven series, this time against Rain or Shine on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, insisting the numbers are just that: numbers.
“Wala na akong magagawa doon (statistic). Anything can happen,” Texters coach Jong Uichico said. “I cannot (look at) what is happening based on what happened before. It’s just for something to talk about.”
Uichico, himself, is just 1-2 (win-loss) in Game Sevens as a coach, according to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III.
Jayson Castro echoed his coach’s sentiment, stressing that doesn’t make them underdogs.
“Hindi naman (dehado),” the Texters superstar said. “Wala ’yun. wag mo pansinin yun.”
For Uichico, the fact that they have Game Seven experience makes them equipped to thrive in this level.
“Sanay naman sila maglaro ng championship,” the eight-time champion coach said. “We’ll be ready for Wednesday.”
“It just takes lots of guts and effort,” he added. “You have to outwork the other team, you have to execute better. You have to do the best job you can.”
Bench player Willie Miller hasn’t seen action since the quarterfinals, but he has also been into countless pressure-packed games of the caliber to know what it takes to win games like this one.
“We have to play as a team,” the two-time MVP said. “Kailangan kunin 'yung mga good thigns na nangyari all throughout the series and the conference and then apply it to the game. At yung mga mistakes, i-lessen lang ng konti.”
It’s the intangibles that matter most.
“Kung talagang sino ang may mas gustong manalo, siya ang mananalo,” Castro concluded.