RAIN or Shine import Wayne Chism said dealing Talk 'N Text its first loss in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup would be an extra motivation for the Elasto Painters on Monday when the two teams start their best-of-five semifinals series at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The top-seeded Tropang Texters enter the 8 p.m. game riding the crest of a 10-game winning streak, highlighted by a nine-game sweep of the eliminations and an easy win over eight seed Barangay Ginebra to start their campaign in the playoffs on a high note.
But not lost on the 6-foot-8 Chism is the fact Rain or Shine could have been the first to hand Talk N Text its first loss in the tournament if not for his crucial turnover late in an 82-85 loss loss to the Texters last April 9.
“It (elimination round) came down to very critical pays. We made some bad mistakes in that game,” said Chism. “But this is a new series now and we got a lot of chances.”
The standout from Tennesse has showed his true potential during the Elasto Painters’ physical quarterfinal series against the Meralco Bolts.
The wide-bodied Chism averaged 30 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 3.6 blocks in the team’s 2-1 series victory - a major leap from his modest numbers of 17.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks during the eliminations.
Chism said he likes the fact Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao doesn’t pressure him to produce more, but lets him play his game as long as he could help the team.
“I’m very comfortable with coach because he doesn’t put that much pressure on me,” explained Chism. “But I know in the playoffs, I need to score. But if I can’t score, I try to get my teammates involved.”
Chism also looks forward to his match up with Talk ‘N Text counterpart Richard Howell, who exploded for 41 points and 22 rebounds in the Tropang Texters’ 97-84 quarterfinal rout of the Kings last week.
Howell, a former North Carolina State standout, is averaging 22.7 points and 19.8 rebounds during the Tropang Texters’ 10-0 run this conference.
“It’s gonna be a tough matchup because I’m going up against another physical guy in the paint,” said Chism, 26. “But I respect his (Howell) game. He’s a good player.”