The look of heartbreak (Photo Credit: Nuki Sabio, PBA)

For the third conference in a row, the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters get eliminated by their rivals the San Mig Coffee Mixers. Give credit to Talk ‘N Text for fighting back from an 0-2 deficit, but eventually the miraculous comeback was just to difficult to pull off. There are obviously a number of factors that led to the defeat of Talk ‘N Text, but allow me to give my own comment on the matter as I present to you some of the statistics the Tropang Texters could have performed better in.


I’ve already mentioned in one of my previous articles that this Talk ‘N Text vs San Mig Coffee rivalry is really a matchup of nearly polar opposites. One team likes to play along the perimeter and the other likes to get it inside the paint, and this is the reason why it really was an up and down series for both teams. It all came down to who could execute their game plan better, and Talk ‘N Text faltered in the end.

Harris desperately tried to carry Talk 'N Text to a win but it just wasn't enough to beat San Mig Coffee (PHOTO CREDIT: PBA IMAGES)

Harris desperately tried to carry Talk ‘N Text to a win but it just wasn’t enough to beat San Mig Coffee (Photo Credit: PBA)


In this series, Talk ‘N Text has had the advantage with shooting the three ball compared to San Mig Coffee, but towards the end it became their own undoing. We already had a preview of it in game four, when the Mixers shot 10 of 24 (41.7 percent) from beyond the arc, while the Tropang Texters were only 9 of 38 (23.7 percent). Somehow, San Mig Coffee found a way to keep up with the three-point production of Talk ‘N Text, and they continued to do so in game 5:




38 11 28.9% 48 23 47.9% 34 86 39.5% 45.9%


23 9 39.1% 53 25 47.2% 34 76 44.7% 50.6%

With their three-point shooting advantage being almost negated, Talk ‘N Text was hard pressed to find points elsewhere, while San Mig Coffee could still rely on their solid inside game to carry them to the win.


Another distinct difference between these two teams are their free throw shooting numbers. For the series, Talk ‘N Text has been the more efficient free throw shooting team (higher percentage), but San Mig Coffee has been the more aggressive team getting to the line (more attempts). Still, despite the “quality vs quantity” difference between them, their FTM numbers remained virtually the same throughout the first 4 games:


Tot. FTA Tot. FTM Avg. FTA Avg. FTM FT%


86 62 21.5 15.5 72.1%


111 65 27.78 16.3 58.6%

With game 5 being decided by only 6 points, free throw shooting was definitely a factor that could have turned the game around for Talk ‘N Text. Unfortunately, they shot miserably from the line in game 5, going just 8 of 19 (42.1 percent). San Mig Coffee on the other hand remained at right around their average in game five, as they went 16 of 31 (51.6 percent). If the Tropang Texters had stayed near their average, even just percentage-wise, the game would’ve also been that much closer for them.


When it’s all said and done, you can’t deny that both teams are of championship caliber, and both teams (although opposite) matchup pretty well with each other. Even the imports seemingly canceled each other out in this series, which is why local players stepping up is what spelled the difference between Talk ‘N Text and San Mig Coffee.

Paul Harris scored nearly half of the points of the of his entire team, and came up with a huge 40-point game for Talk ‘N Text. On the down side of that performance however, nobody else for the Tropang Texters came even close to that output. Even main local gunners Castro and De Ocampo combined for just 24 points. I think a big reason for this disparity in points was the low assist numbers for Talk ‘N Text in this game. For the first 4 games, the Tropang Texters were averaging at least 20 assists per game, but in game five they only had 11 assists, while San Mig Coffee had 17.

James Yap went 5 of 9 from the 3-point line and finished with 25 points to lead San Mig Coffee to the win. (Photo Credit: PBA)

In contrast to the performance of the locals of Talk ‘N Text, there were several locals on the side of San Mig Coffee who definitely came up big in this game. James Yap lived up to his nickname, “Big Game James,” as he led the way for the Mixers with 25 points, Joe Devance played a quiet but solid game, as he filled the stat sheet with a triple-double (11 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists), and Mark Barroca (17 points) contributed with some instant offense from the bench.

I can’t blame the defense of Talk ‘N Text too much for this one, as it really is difficult to predict who they have to look out on this San Mig Coffee team. Still, if the Tropang Texters had done a better job of at least distributing the load on offense, perhaps the Mixers would have had the same problem.