PBA: It's playoff or bust for Talk ‘N Text, Barangay Ginebra

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PBA: It's playoff or bust for Talk ‘N Text, Barangay Ginebra

Post by betterhalf on Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:56 pm

PBA: It's playoff or bust for Talk ‘N Text, Barangay Ginebra

On Wednesday, it will be all about staying alive for the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters and the Barangay Ginebra Kings.

Victory means the winner gets to advance to the Finals, provided they can defeat the loser of the B-MEG Llamados versus Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. Defeat on the other hand, triggers the start of the off-season for that squad. That means there are no guarantees yet for either TNT or BGK, but sometimes a chance is all that’s asked for, and that’s what they’ll receive at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, as the semifinal round of the PBA Governors’ Cup winds down.

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When these two teams faced off in the elimination round of the Governors’ Cup, Talk ‘N Text bore an eight-point lead, 103-95, late in the fourth quarter, but the relentless Barangay Ginebra attack slowly whittled it down to four, after Mark “The Spark” Caguioa canned a jumper, slicing the deficit in half, 109-105.

BGK import Cedric Bozeman then made it a one-point game, 109-108, but Jayson Castro drove down the other side, getting the hoop and the harm. Though he missed the charity, Castro would get a chance to redeem himself a possession later, hitting two when he was intentionally fouled to stop the clock. Bozeman then missed a triple that would have forced overtime as the clock expired.

The victory came as part of a four-game streak by the Tropang Texters, who rallied from a 1-3 start to the season. A foul-happy Ginebra aided the TNT cause, giving up 10 more whistles, which led to a 29-16 edge for Talk ‘N Text in free throws, which they took full advantage of by hitting 24.

On the other hand, the erratic Ginebra Kings had a chance to finally string together two wins in a row, but failed to do so, though they were able to come back late and stay competitive down the stretch. BGK was scorching hot from the field, shooting 55.6 percent, but it wasn’t enough to get the “W,” thanks in part to the free throw parade they threw Talk ‘N Text.


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For Ginebra to win, they’ll need to slow down the pace of the game and avoid getting into a shoot-out with Talk ‘N Text, which is what happened in their first encounter. Their advantage on the offensive glass, which was not apparent back in June, ought to help them stop TNT from getting out on the break off a defensive carom.

Luckily, the Kings are an ace defensive squad, holding opponents to a league-low 86.69 points and just 75 field goal attempts. They weren’t able to pull it off against TNT the first time, so no doubt, they’ll be raring to show off their defensive chops in this crucial game.

On the flipside, it’s all about attacking for the Tropang Texters, getting to the line, to be specific. It’s what they did in their first encounter, and the numbers show that they have a significant advantage in that aspect, norming nine more attempts at the line than BGK who are actually last in the league when it comes to taking free throws.

The bench battle will likely dictate this war too. Both teams field nearly their entire line-ups, but Talk ‘N Text has the slight edge, 44.54 points from the reservers, versus 40.69 from Ginebra. The difference might be the definition of roles; Talk ‘N Text, for the most part, have their rotation nailed down, but Ginebra’s kooky line-ups seem to shift and change with every game, though they do have a few constants (Kerby Raymundo will start, Mark Caguioa will get 30 minutes off the bench).


X-Factors

Re-Spark Caguioa - After a three-point game, Caguioa’s due for an explosion
Mark Caguioa Points 3PM FGM Rebs Asts Stls
First 12 games 19.5 2.33 7.33 3.92 2.25 1.08
Versus B-MEG (July 15) 3 0.0 0.0 2.0 1.0 0.0

After a string of fantastic clutch games, the Commissioner’s Cup’s best local blinked, producing a conference-worst three markers, missing all 12 of his field goal attempts. But if Caguioa was due for a poor game, odds are he’ll also be due for a huge comeback, and with his team’s season on the line, there’s no better time for him to cement his MVP-bonafides.


Larry’s Legend - Time for the All-Filipino Cup Finals MVP to step-up
Larry Fonacier Points 3P% FTM Asts
Six game stretch (June 3 - July 1) 15.33 53.85% 3.0 2.83
Last four games (July 7 - July 16) 7.75 44.44% 1.75 1.0

Larry Fonacier was a consistent force during TNT’s march to back-to-back All-Filipino Cup titles, but he was up and down during the Commissioner’s Cup, and then up and down once more during the Governors’ Cup. He had a solid six-game stretch in the elimination round that powered the Texters to a 4-2 finish but with one more big push needed to make the Finals, Fonacier could be the guy to make Ginebra pay for doubling the likes of Jayson Castro

Source: GMA NEWS
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