(Photo Credit: Nuki Sabio, PBA)

As they found themselves on the brink of elimination, Talk ‘N Text pulled out one of their biggest wins of the season to force a game 4 against San Mig Coffee in their semifinals matchup. It was a big win for the Tropang Texters both figuratively and literally, as they beat the Mixers by 26 points (final score: 112-86). This 26-point loss is the first double-digit loss of San Mig Coffee this conference, and it’s also obviously their largest. Look for the Mixers to bounce back strong in game 4 and try to eliminate the Tropang Texters once and for all.


In order for Talk ‘N Text to stay alive in this series, they needed to continue what they did well in game three. Subjectively speaking, I can say that the Talk ‘N Text defense was definitely much better in game three as they seemed to be playing with a sense of urgency that was lacking in the previous games. Objectively however, here are the numbers that have to remain consistent in order for Talk ‘N Text to keep winning.


I mentioned that in the first two games, Talk ‘N Text shot horribly from the 2-point field goal area. Credit the San Mig Coffee defense for forcing them to rely on perimeter shots. In game three however, there was a noticeable effort from the Tropang Texters to make sure they got shots from inside the paint, and they did this with interior passing. They broke down the tough interior defense of the Mixers through drive-and-dish plays, as well as unselfish big-on-big passing. Here are the numbers that might show you a better picture of what I mean:




51 28 54.9% 30


53 23 43.4% 18

It was the first time in this series that Talk ‘N Text shot better than San Mig Coffee from both inside (2PT%) and outside (3PT%) the arc. If they continue to share the ball unselfishly in game 4, expect them to have another good chance of coming out with a win.


Speaking of shooting numbers, San Mig Coffee uncharacteristically took a lot of three-point shots in this game:

San Mig Coffee

Games 1 and 2 Game 3


23 (11.5 per game) 24


8 (4.0 per game) 7


34.8% 29.2%

The Talk ‘N Text defense seems to have finally found a way to limit the inside production of San Mig Coffee. And it’s also not as if they gave up the three-point battle as a sacrifice for doing so. They still managed to shoot better than the Mixers as they held down the fort inside the paint. Here are the numbers the Tropang Texters limited the Mixers to in game 3:

San Mig Coffee

Games 1 and 2 Game 3


126 (63 per game) 53


59 (29.5 per game) 23


46.8% 43.4%


Obviously, when you say that a team shot the ball better than their opponent from ALL areas (3pt%, 2PT%, FT%), then that team is going to be the winner. After all, the name of the game is to score more than your opponent by the end of 48 minutes. Still, there are many factors that play into “shooting well” from the floor, which is why looking for the best shot available is what coaches preach to their players.

Usually, the “best shot” coaches are referring to is also the “easiest shot” in the given play that they’re running. As seen from the assist numbers of Talk ‘N Text, they definitely made it easier for each other to score by passing the ball well. But I’d also like to point out that although the turnovers for both teams were close, their points off of those turnovers were not:




9 21


11 11

Statistically speaking, Talk ‘N Text and San Mig Coffee are both teams that take care of the ball well (upper half the of league). But so far in this series, Talk ‘N Text has been getting the upper hand in terms of scoring off of turnovers, and they should continue to take advantage of that in game 4. The turnover numbers from the 3 games can be seen below:


T.O. (total) T.O. PTS (total) T.O. (avg) T.O. PTS (avg)


38 57pts 12.7 19pts


45 42pts 15 14pts


This series so far has had its fair share of unlikely heroes and big names that haven’t really lived up to their reputations. That being said, I’m going to mention both big names and unlikely heroes for the matchups I’d like to look out for in game 4.


Both JDV (left) and RDO (right) are integral parts of the offense on both of their respective teams (PHOTO CREDIT: NUKI SABIO, PBA IMAGES)

Both JDV (left) and RDO (right) are integral parts of the offense on both of their respective teams (Photo Credit: Nuki Sabio, PBA)

Ranidel De Ocampo and Joe Devance are two of the most dynamic scorers we have in the PBA. Both are capable of shooting from the outside, as well as putting it on the floor for a layup or runner in the lane. Posting up smaller defenders also provides another matchup problem for most teams, and so far in this series they haven’t disappointed in that regard. Both De Ocampo (17.3 points per game) and Devance (13 points per game) are the leading local scorers of their respective teams, and in this series the team that has had the better local support has won their games. With Harris and Blakely already being marked men, it’s up to these two gunners to provide the spark on offense that both their teams need.


Even at his age, Danny Seigle can still get it done on offense (PHOTO CREDIT: SPIN.PH)

Even at his age, Danny Seigle can still get it done on offense (Photo Credit: Spin.ph)

I mentioned in my previous article that a big part of San Mig Coffee’s game is spreading the scoring among its players, while Talk ‘N Text mostly relies on Harris, De Ocampo, and Castro. That is why the Tropang Texters needed somebody else to step up on offense, to lift some of the scoring burden off of the shoulders of their 3 main gunners.

I guess coach Norman Black felt the same way, as he fielded in practically their entire roster during game 3. Guys like Aban, Espiritu, and Seigle, who didn’t play at all in the first two games, saw early action in game 3, and they delivered. Seigle (13 points in 16 minutes) and Espiritu (10 points in 13 minutes) played especially well, as their efficiency and effort on offense made a huge difference in the early stages of the game.

On a final note, I would suggest that Talk ‘N Text be wary of Maliksi and Melton in game 4. Both were playing great basketball at the start of this series, but have since faded into the background. San Mig Coffee knows they can’t let Talk ‘N Text beat them at their own game, so I expect some more unlikely heroes to show up in game four.