B-MEG and Talk ‘N Text will become the first teams to play an official game at the brand-new Mall of Asia Arena when the two powerhouse squads collide in the PBA Governors Cup semifinals.
With both teams yet to fully familiarize themselves with the newest sports and entertainment venue in the country, the lone weekend game at 8 p.m. all boils down to which between the two adapts faster to the playing arena.
“Unfamiliar arena but in the end, the game will be decided by the team that makes more shots,” Texters coach Chot Reyes said on the eve of the match up between the two squads that tangled in the classic Commissioner's Cup Finals two months ago.
The Llamados enter the semis as the second-best team with a 6-3 (win-loss) record, while the Texters are just a shade behind at 5-4.
The six-team semis is a carryover single-round phase, with the top teams teams forging a showdown for the season-ending crown in a best-of-seven finals. A team that wins four of its five semis outings, however, earns a playoff for the last Finals berth.
“We are in a more critical situation than B-Meg so we need this ‘W’ more,” Reyes said.
B-Meg is coming off a 110-98 overtime victory over Powerade last Saturday in a game that clinched for the team a spot in the semis. James Yap scored six of his 24 points in the extra period to lead the Llamados to the win.
Llamados import Marcus Blakely also stood out against the Tigers as he registered a monster game of 31 points, 14 rebounds, seven blocks, five assists, and five steals.
Other than Yap and Blakely, the Llamados also need to rely on key players PJ Simon and Marc Pingris.
The Texters, on the other hand, are hoping to bounce back from a 92-90 loss at the hands of top-seeded Rain or Shine last Sunday.
Sixth man Jayson Castro, who had 25 points against the Painters, is again expected to come up with starters’ numbers for the Texters, even as import Paul Harris tries to recover from a paltry 11-point outing.