• Rain or Shine battle Talk ‘N Text in Game 1 of semifinals

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    RAIN or Shine will face Talk ‘N Text, the only undefeated team in the conference in Game 1 of the best-of-five semifinals of the 39th Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup today at the Araneta Coliseum.

    The Tropang Texters with 10 straight wins including nine in the elimination round have the psychological edge when they battle the Elasto Painters at 8 p.m.

    Coach Norman Black’s squad defeated Coach Yeng Guiao’s team, 85-82, in the elimination round on April 9.

    The other semifinals match on Tuesday at 8 p.m., Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City pits San Mig Coffee against Air 21 Express.

    Guiao said that the team worked hard to reach the semifinals for the fourth time. It also won the 2012 Governor’s Cup, their first title since joining the league in 2006.

    “We are in the semifinals in a different hard way. We are going up against the best team in the conference right now [Talk ‘N Text]. We are taking it as a challenge. We have been working hard for this. If we want to be the best team then we have to beat the best team,” said Guiao.

    The Elasto Painters advanced into the semifinals via a 2-1 win over Meralco Bolts. Rain or Shine posted a 97-96 overtime triumph in Game 3 of the quarterfinals on Saturday. They lost Game 1 (91-94) on April 21 but bounced back in Game 2 (102-93) on April 23.

    The Tropang Texters, on the other hand, are back in the semifinals without losing a game (10-0), thanks to the consistency of import Richard Howell, who averaged 20.50 points, 19.62 rebounds, 1.50 assists, and 1.50 steals a game. It took Talk ‘N Text only a game to eliminate the no. 8 seed Ginebra Kings, 97-84, on April 22.

    “All credit goes to the players. They really played hard. They have the will to win and the desire to win. It’s nice to be in the semifinals,” said Black.

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