MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Coffee and Talk 'N Text will meet again on Friday, nearly a month after their PBA Commissioner’s Cup slugfest that saw the Mixers winning their third-straight crown.
Both sporting identical 5-2 win-loss cards, the Mixers and the Tropang Texters will fight it out for the top seeding and a chance to nab a twice-to-beat bonus in the playoffs.
“It’s a battle for first place and the twice-to-beat advantage so it will be intense,” said Talk ‘n Text coach Norman Black in the league’s official website.
Black said he particularly concerned about San Mig’s Marqus Blakely, who has been a vital cog in the Mixers’ successes.
He also said that they have to match San Mig Coffee’s energy levels to gut out a win.
“Energy is the name of the game when you play San Mig so we will have to surpass their energy level to be able to get a win,” Black said. “They have so many weapons that it will need all of my players to be on top of their game.”
The Mixers recently pulled the rug under Air21, with Blakely leading the way.
But Mixers tactician Tim Cone said that he needs his locals to step up to ease the load off their import.
“Our job is still very, very hard. Guys like Ping (Marc Pingris), James [Yap], Joe [Devance] and PJ [Simon] must carry their own load and not rely on Marqus too much,” Cone said.
The face-off will start at 8 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena.
In the 5:45 p.m. curtain raiser, Alaska will have to face one of its former own when the Aces battle Barangay Ginebra of former Alaska player Jeffrey Cariaso.
Ginebra is in a 3-way tie with San Mig and Talk ‘N Text, and a win can give the Gin Kings a twice-to-beat edge in the playoffs.
But a desperate Alaska, at 3-4, can be dangerous.