Armed with a roster composed of tested veterans and talented youngsters, Rain or Shine has become one of the forces in the PBA; and by far, has the chance to win a championship that will never be as close as the opportunity presented to the Elasto Painters in the 2015 Commissioners’ Cup.
However, the final obstacle in that chase for a new piece of silverware is a team also regarded as one of the top squads in the league: Talk ‘N Text.
On the other corner, with a well-organized roster consisting of the best players in the current generation, the Tropang Texters are back in the hunt for the crown. Like Rain or Shine, Talk ‘N Text holds a vital key to unlock championship no. 7.
Here is a collection of the best quotes from the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals press conference held Monday in Eastwood City, Quezon City.
Teams were calm and low-key and the exchange of words was fun-filled. However, expect the atmosphere to change, starting on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena, when both teams square off for Game 1.
PBA Commissioner Atty. Chito Salud: “I always look forward to a Talk ‘N Text-Rain or Shine series. They have the same styles – run and gun, three-point (shooting), physical if you have to be physical – and this will be a quality series.”
Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao
On three-point shots and defending Jayson Castro: “It will be a vital factor for both teams in winning games. We are shooting 32 attempts. That’s a lot but they are shooting a better percentage. Jayson Castro is shooting well. Lahat na ata ng defenders nilagay ng Purefoods sa kanya. Yung security guard na lang ng Araneta ang hindi. It’s going to be a big problem.”
On having a healthy team: “Getting to the finals is tiring physically and mentally. We are lucky. That is the biggest change. We were not healthy in the past finals appearances compared to now. We are comfortable being the underdogs.”
On Talk ‘N Text without Jimmy Alapag: “TNT is in a transition from the Alapag era to the Castro era. Once that is complete, TNT is almost invincible.”
On the chess match against Uichico: “Coach Jong Uichico knows how to handle talent. He can beat you in many ways. We have to prepare because he knows how to manage talent.”
Talk ‘N Text head coach Jong Uichico
On coaching battle against Guiao: “It is hard to read him. He is a great coach and we have to be alert on that one. It is hard to read his game plan.”
Talk ‘N Text import Ivan Johnson
On playing a physical team: “Not a big talker but we want to win the championship. They’re a good team but we’re a good team too. If I can get through Purefoods with the ref’s help, I can get through this finals.”
Rain or Shine import Wayne Chism
On what has changed from his first stint to now: “I’m glad to be here. There’s a lot of pressure when you have coach Yeng but it is a good thing. He pushes you to another level. I am so familiar with the (PBA) game.”
Rain or Shine forward Beau Belga
On trying to get over the hump: “Hindi pa kami nananalo ng series sa Talk ‘N Text. Baka sakali… natapat (Talk ‘N Text ngayon). Bahala na. Nagsasawa na kami sa runner-up. Baka sakali makasundot.”
Rain or Shine guard Paul Lee
On runner-up finishes: “Excited ako dahil nasa finals ulit kami. Sana makuha namin dahil nagsasawa na kami sa runner-up. This is the best chance (dahil) 100 percent ang (health ng) players. Dapat samantalahin na namin.”
On defending Jayson Castro: “Bahala na ibang teammates ko sa kanya. Siguro matatapat naman. Hindi sumasablay si Jayson, so bahala na.”
On the Best Player of the Conference race: “We want to enter the championship every conference. Blessing na lang maging candidate sa BPC.”
Talk ‘N Text wing man Larry Fonacier
On Rain or Shine’s depth: “Rain or Shine is a good mix of new and talented guys. Sustained for 48 minutes yung energy nila. Gutom na gutom na sila manalo.”
Talk ‘N Text guard Jayson Castro
On individual awards: “Yung mga award di namin iniisip e. Main goal namin win a championship. Lahat masaya. Pag award, ikaw lang masaya.”