Petron, Powerade try to deliver KO punch against semis rivals


Petron and Powerade go for the clincher todya and try to arrange a championship showdown for the PBA Philippine Cup title.

The Boosters will once again try, the second of three attempts, to slam the finals door on defending champion Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters in Game Six of their best-of-seven semifinal series at 4:15 p.m. at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum

Two hours later, the Tigers get their shot of earning a first Finals stint in the last eight years when they collide with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in their own semifinal encounter.

Both Petron and Powerade lead their respective series, 3-2. The Boosters came close to bagging the first Finals berth Friday, dominating the Tropang Texters early on before losing steam in a 93-91 loss. Talk ‘N Text escaped with the victory behind Jimmy Alapag’s three-pointer.

For Petron coach Ato Agustin, the Boosters hopefully learned their lesson after that heartbreaking loss. “You have a tendency to relax when you are ahead in the series,” Agustin said. “We must think that we are down in this series. We missed a lot of easy shots in Game Five and we can’t let that happen again.”

One thing going Petron’s way is the possibility of Kelly Williams and Ryan Reyes not suiting up for Talk ‘N Text. Williams aggravated his pulled hamstring in the second half of Game Five, while Reyes hurt his right wrist after a bad fall

“We are trying to hide (Williams’) injury,” said Tropang Texters mentor Chot Reyes. “He pulled his hamstring two days before the start of the series. He underwent treatment and we were hoping that (he) would be 50 to 55 percent fit. But he could not continue.”

Reyes added: “we’ve been battling on pure guts. As long as we continue to play hard and don’t quit, it’s fine with us. There’s still hope.” Rain or Shine, likewise, carries the same mind set entering its 6:30 p.m. meeting with Powerade.

The Elasto Painters lost grip of a six-point lead as the Tigers uncorked a 10-2 closing run behind Gary David, and rookies Jvee Casio and Marcio Lassiter for a 110-108 come-from-behind win.

“The series is far from over,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao. “We were outworked the last game. We can’t let that happen again. We have always played well with our backs against the wall. I’m confident we can extend the series to Wednesday.”

Powerade coach Bo Perasol, with his team just a win away from making its first Finals stint since 2004, doesn’t want the Tigers to be complacent against a team of Rain or Shine’s stature.

“This is not yet over, we need one more win to make it to the championship. We have to forget the (Game Five) win now and prepare hard for the next one. We know Rain or Shine will be back,” Perasol said.

 


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