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Tight battle seen

Barangay Ginebra
Barangay Ginebra players celebrate.

ONE team plays a more deliberate game of basketball, passing the ball a lot and working the clock in search of a better shot.

The other team favors a fast-paced style, getting up and down the floor well and executing with timely hits.

Against this backdrop, Barangay Ginebra and Talk N Text begin their highly-anticipated best-of-seven showdown in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) Sports Center in Pampanga.

The 6 p.m. encounter between two star-studded and battle-tested teams which play with contrasting styles will provide another interesting storyline in this coronavirus-interrupted conference.

Ginebra and Talk N Text both took the long and difficult routes to the finals, needing all five games to eliminate their equally-capable semifinal opponents in the Black Friday do-or-die showdowns.

Ginebra leaned on Scottie Thompson’s game-winner — a desperation three-pointer with time running out — to slam the door on Meralco, 83-80.

Talk N Text relied on Bobby Ray Park’s near-triple double of 25 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to eliminate Phoenix Super LPG, 91-81.

With just a day rest, odds are about even between the two most popular teams in the league.

I think we’re the slight underdogs as they’ve been playing pretty well. They’re well coached and they’ve got Jayson (Castro) who is the difference maker,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.

Playing against Ginebra is tough. They have a coach who’s very experienced, especially in the finals. We were outplayed by them in the elims. We will do our best to play well,” said Talk N Text mentor Bong Ravena.

Aside from Thompson, Ginebra will rely on Stanley Pringle, Japeth Aguilar, LA Tenorio and Prince Caperal.

Talk N Text will lean on Parks, Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, JP Erram, Simon Enciso and Jay Washington.

Ginebra has been a dominant force in the Governors’ Cup, winning three of the last four championships.

But Ginebra has not won the All-Filipino crown in 13 long years.

The last time the Gin Kings won the All-Filipino title was in 2006 when they defeated San Miguel Beer in six games.

Talk N Text, on the other hand, dominated the All-Filipino four times in five years starting 2008.

The Tropang Texters won the All-Filipino crown against Alaska (4-3) in 2008, San Miguel Beer (4-2) in 2010, Powerade ( 4-1) in 2011 and Rain or Shine ( 4-0) in 2012.

Then came a long title drought.

Game Sunday:
(AUF Sports Center)
6 p.m. — Talk N Text vs. Barangay Ginebra

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Ed Andaya
Sports Editor - People's Tonight