GRANDSLAM-seeking San Mig Coffee will attempt to end the best-of-five semifinal series when it battle Talk ‘N Text today in Game Four of the 39th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governor’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Despite losing Game Three (86-112) on Monday, the Coffee Mixers are still ahead 2-1 in the series and could clinch the first Finals slot if they win in their 8 p.m. encounter against Talk ‘N Text. They won Game One in overtime (88-92) and followed it up with a 93-85 victory in Game Two on Saturday.
The 16-time champion coach Tim Cone, a Grandslam winner with the Alaska Aces in 1996, is looking for his 29th Finals appearance and 27th for the Coffee Mixers since joining the league in 1988. They also won the last three conferences, making them just one-conference away from a Grandslam.
“They still have the advantage, I hope we could still put one more game to give pressure on them. My guys are doing good now, making the extra pass. Right now I have no idea what we should do for Game Four. I just hope we could catch up with them,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black, who has nine PBA championships under his name including a Grandslam with San Mi- guel Beer in 1989 and five straight championships with the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.
The Tropang Texters shoot a better 50.6 percent on 42-of-83 in the field goal compared to the Coffee Mixers low 39 percent on 30-of-77 in Game Three. They also dominated the three-point zone with 43.8 percent accuracy on 14-of-32 to San Mig’s only 29.2 percent on seven-of-24.
“Closing out the series is the toughest one. They [Talk ‘N Text] got nothing to lose. They’re going to go out there and play as hard as they can. Games like that with their back against the wall, that’s something we also should have in ourselves. The emotions and the energy level,” said last year’s best import awardee Marqus Blakely, who could only settle with 8 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists in 27 minutes of action on Monday.
A win by the Coffee Mixers would send them into the best-of-five titular series against either Rain or Shine or Alaska Aces. The Elasto Painters and the Aces were still playing in Game Three in the other semifinals match at presstime.