After their loss last Saturday, Talk ‘N Text now find themselves in a 0-2 hole against San Mig Coffee in their PBA Semifinals matchup. It seems highly improbable that the Tropang Texters can get themselves out of this one, but it surely is not impossible. The main issue they need to address right now is how to break the San Mig Coffee defense, to get out of their offensive struggles. Here are some key statistics that Talk ‘N Text needs to improve on in order to increase their chances of extending the series.

Outside Looking in

Heading into this semifinals matchup, a contrast in styles was already very obvious between these two teams. Talk ‘N Text likes to move the ball around with their versatile big men and shoot from the outside, while San Mig Coffee likes to post-up, get it in close, and score inside the paint. Just to give you an idea of how different these two teams are, here are the shooting numbers from the first two games:




68 24 35.3% 94 34 36.2% 162 58 35.8% 43.2%


23 8 34.8% 126 59 46.8% 149 67 44.9% 47.7%

Talk ‘N Text has the obvious advantage from the three-point line, having 16 more 3PTM than San Mig Coffee. That has given them a +48 point advantage for the series, but they’re losing the scoring inside the arc. The Mixers are not just making more, but shooting better from the 2PT area as well. The Tropang Texters have made just 34 2PT FGs compared to 59 2PT FGs for the Mixers, and that means they’re at a -50 point disadvantaged when it comes to 2PT scoring. This has also greatly affected the eFG% of Talk ‘N Text, which means that San Mig Coffee is the team that is scoring the ball more efficiently and effectively on offense.

The Tropang Texters not only need to find a way to stop the inside scoring of the Mixers, they also need to get more points in the paint themselves. If they are able to generate more of an inside presence, let’s say via drive-and-kick, they’re going to be able to generate more open looks for their shooters as well. And of course they’ve also got to bring their outside shooting percentages up (maybe to about 40%) so that the San Mig Coffee defense will loosen up a little inside and make 2PT shooting for Talk ‘N Text easier.

Stay Aggressive

Talk 'N Text could use more aggressive drives like this from Jayson Castro and the rest of the Tropang Texters. (PHOTO CREDIT: NUKI SABIO, SOLARSPORTSDESK.PH)

Talk ‘N Text could use more aggressive drives like this from Jayson Castro and the rest of the Tropang Texters. (PHOTO CREDIT: NUKI SABIO, SOLARSPORTSDESK.PH)

At this point in the series, I’ve heard a lot of people say that San Mig Coffee is just the hungrier team. The allure of that Grand Slam is just fueling them more than whatever is fueling Talk ‘N Text right now. That being said, one can say that a tell tale sign of an aggressive team is how often they get to the free throw line, and the Mixers have definitely done that more. Here are the FT numbers for the 2 games so far:




47 33 70.2% 47.2% 51 37


67 43 64.1% 51.6% 39 23

To learn more about the math and analysis behind the numbers, you can check our advanced statistics primer here

Going back, it is obvious to see that Talk ‘N Text has not been getting to the line as often as San Mig Coffee. The Tropang Texters are at a -10 point disadvantage when it comes to free throws, and in the two close games they’ve had so far (especially the game that went to OT), a few points could have made all the difference. It’s also important to note that Talk ‘N Text has been giving up way more fouls WA (basically fouls that result in free throws for the other team), compared to San Mig Coffee. But I believe this goes back again to the contrast in style the two teams play, as an inside game would definitely be more likely to draw fouls than an outside game.

Talk ‘N Text has to find a way to penetrate that tough interior defense of San Mig Coffee, and maybe being aggressive and getting to the line more often is the solution. The numbers say they’d make more since they’re shooting at a better percentage than the Mixers, and it would also help their True Shooting Percentage go up. But it also works the other way around as Talk ‘N Text  has to work on their defense and limit the number of fouls they give up. Getting into the penalty situation early is a definite disadvantage against a team like San Mig Coffee.

Calling For Backup

Talk 'N Text desperately needs somebody to help score on offense (PHOTO CREDIT: PRANZ KAENO BILLIONES, PBA IMAGES)

Talk ‘N Text desperately needs somebody to help score on offense (PHOTO CREDIT: PRANZ KAENO BILLIONES, PBA IMAGES)

Finally, Talk ‘N Text needs to have somebody else be a threat on offense. Only three players have been consistently scoring in double-digits for the Tropang Texters, and these are Harris, Castro, and De Ocampo. The Mixers already know who to check on offense, and we saw this in game 2 when they limited Castro to just 12 points, and De Ocampo to just 9 points. Harris did have 33 points in that losing effort, but other guys need to contribute, especially off the bench.

Both starting lineups for both teams matchup well, but I think that when the subs start to come out that is really when San Mig Coffee pulls away in the games. Talk ‘N Text’s bench has been outscored 43-59 so far in the two games, and that is why they’re finding it so difficult to work their offense around Harris, Castro, and De Ocampo. In particular, the usual outside threats like Niño Canaleta, Ryan Reyes, and Larry Fonacier have gone cold in this series:




5.5 5.0 1.5 30%


2.5 2.5 0.5 20%


2.0 3.5 0.0 0%

If somebody else can hit some shots for Talk ‘N Text, then I expect them to pull out a win againt San Mig Coffee.