Behind the lights out shooting of Paul Harris, Talk ‘N Text was able to get a taste of revenge against San Mig Coffee last Friday, June 13. The last time these two teams played, the Commissioner’s Cup championship was at stake, and the Mixers got the better of the Tropang Texters that time around. But of course this time around it’s a different conference, with a different import, and a different story line altogether. Let’s have a look at what factors helped Talk ‘N Text pull out the win over the defending champions.
Dialed in from 3
Just like the title of this article suggests, it was really the 3-point shooting of Talk ‘N Text that gave them their biggest advantage over San Mig Coffee. As a team, the Mixers really don’t shoot a lot of 3-point shots anyway, averaging only 13.4 3PTA on 27.7 percent 3-point percentage heading into this game, but the gap between their shooting and the shooting of the Tropang Texters’ was just too large to overcome. In this particular game, Talk ‘N Text made 8 more three-pointers than San Mig Coffee, and that led to a +24 point advantage in their favor.
Speaking of hitting 3’s, Paul Harris was absolutely unconscious in this game from downtown, going 9 of 15 (60 percent) from beyond the arc, and finishing with 39 points. In fact he took more of his shots from there than from anywhere else on the court (4 of 8 from two point range, 4 of 8 from the line). He definitely carried the Tropang Texters on offense throughout the entire game, as well as contributing on defense with 14 rebounds, 13 of which were defensive boards. On the other side of the floor, Marqus Blakely was likewise the main man for San Mig Coffee, as he finished with 21 points and 22 rebounds. Unlike Harris, Blakely is the kind of player who likes to slash to the basket and score on the inside, and that’s where he did most of his damage (72.7 percent from 2 point range). Unfortunately, he couldn’t seem to hit his free throws in this game, as he went only 5 of 15 (33.3 percent) from the line, and in a game decided by only four points (92-88), that was a big factor for the Tropang Texters getting this win. Take nothing away from either of them though, as both imports are there to do very different things for their respective teams anyway.
In the game of Talk ‘N Text versus Barako Bull last June 10, the Tropang Texters were out rebounded big time, 59-41. This 18 rebound difference played a huge role in the upset win of Barako Bull, and so Talk ‘N Text made sure that it wouldn’t happen to them again versus San Mig Coffee. This time the Tropang Texters were the ones controlling the glass as they out rebounded the Mixers 55-48. In fact it was only Blakely’s 22 rebounds that kept the margin that close, as even guys like Marc Pingris (only 5 rebounds) had trouble crashing the boards against Talk ‘N Text.
A surprise plus on the rebounding side for Talk ‘N Text was their offensive rebounding and second-chance points. Although the offensive rebounding gap wasn’t so large in this game (16 for TNT, 13 for SMC), the second-chance scoring gap was. The Tropang Texters had only 3 more offensive rebounds, but they were able to score 18 second-chance points, compared to only 6 for San Mig Coffee.