Newsome Chris Newsome of Meralco battles tgree NLEX defenders. PBA photo

PBA semis wars begin

October 3, 2021 Robert Andaya 546 views

TAKE your pick: Talk N Text or San Miguel Beer, Meralco or Magnolia Pambansang Manok?

The four remaining teams begin their much-awaited best-of-seven semifinal showdowns in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Sunday.

It will be No. 2 Meralco against No. 3 Magnolia in the curtain raiser at 2 p.m., and No 1 Talk N Text against No. 4 San Miguel in the mainer at 4:35 p.m.

Both series pitting the biggest teams from the two corporate sports giants are expected to be close and interesting, according to most analysts.

Talk N Text, which is hoping to reach the All-Filipino final for the second straight season, finished the elimination round with a league-best 10-1 win-loss record before eliminating last year’s champion Barangay Ginebra, 84-71, last Sept. 28 in a rematch of their last year’s titular showdown in Clark.

San Miguel, which is seeking to return to the finals after missing it in the last two conferences, finished fourth with a 7-4 slate before beating No. 5 NorthPort twice, 88-87 and 100-95.

Talk N Text coach Chot Reyes said the team will have to face bigger problems in the semis against San Miguel.

“We just finished one problem, and so it’s on to the next problem,” said Reyes after the Tropang Giga eliminated the Gin Kings.

“We just beat the defending champion, but San Miguel is like what, the five-time champion before Ginebra won it last year,” added Reyes, who was recalled by the Manny V. Pangilinan franchise to help the team end a six-year title drought since winning in the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup.

Reyes also pointed to Talk N Text’s 67-83 setback to SanMiguel in their elimination round meeting.

“San Miguel kicked our butts in the elimination round. It wasn’t even close. They beat us, and they beat us badly,” he recalled.

Reyes is expected torely heavily on Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario and rookie sensation Mikey Williams.

Williams is currently locked in a tight battle with Magnolia superstar Calvin Abueva in the race for the coveted ‘Best Player of the Conference” award.

San Miguel coach Leo Austria, on the other hand, is also hoping to ride the momentum of their two-game winning streak over NorthPort in the quarterfinals.

San Miguel is also back playing in full force, with MVP June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Mo Tautuaa, Alex Cabagnot and Terrence Romeo leading the way.

The other semifinal encounter between Meralco ad Magnolia is also expected to be entertaining.

Both Meralco coach Norman Black and Magnolia menor Chito Victolero expect a tough series between two teams hungry for the championship.

“We’ve had some great competition with Magnolia over the years. We’ve lost our share, we’ve won our share and most of the games have been competitive so I’m expecting the same thing,” said Black.

Games Sunday:

(DHVSU gym)
2 p.m. — Meralco vs. Magnolia
4:35 p.m. –San Miguel vs. Talk N Text