They did it twice before, so there's no reason why these amazing Powerade Tigers can't do it again. The upstart Tigers take on back-to-back title seeking Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals that opens Friday in Digos, Davao del Sur. "If it's written in stone then we will have a big chance of winning the title,” said Bo Perasol, the Powerade coach. No one expected the Tigers, the lowest seeded team at number eight entering the playoffs, to advance deep into the All-Filipino tournament.
But here they are, playing in their first best-of-seven title series in nine years after eliminating top seed B-MEG Llamados in the quarterfinals and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in a decisive Game Seven of their semifinal encounter.
Now the team that just a year ago couldn't even make it past the elimination round, now faces no less than the kings of the Philippine Cup. "We understand what is at stake here and the giant that we are up against," Perasol added. "We will keep fighting. This is not the time that we are going to be satisfied. We have been through tough times."
Like the Tigers, the Tropang Texters are also on Cloud Nine.
Almost given up for dead, the franchise rose from the paws of defeat and overcame a 3-1 deficit by beating rival Petron Boosters in their own semifinals showdown, capping the improbable feat with an exhilarating 92-91 Game Seven win Wednesday night in front of an overflow crowd of 13,000 at the Astrodome.
The rousing Talk 'N Text win came a few months since Petron denied the Tropang Texters a special place in PBA history by claiming the Governors Cup title and slamming the franchise's bid to become only the fourth team to complete a rare Grand Slam.
"There was no vengeance at all in my mind," said Talk 'N Text coach Chot Reyes, humble even in victory. "I respect Petron as an organization and I respect coach Ato (Agustin). We chose victory over vengeance."
Making it to their fourth straight Finals appearance also moved the Tropang Texters to within four wins of becoming the first team since the 1985 Great Taste squad to repeat as All-Filipino champions.
But Reyes knows its going to be as tough as the just concluded semifinals series his team had against the Boosters.
"A lot of people say it's going to be easy beating Powerade. But look at what they've accomplished. They beat the No. 1 team and then beat Rain or Shine. It will take our best effort to beat them," said Reyes.
The match-up also has some emotional attachment on Reyes, the same coach who steered Coca-Cola, Powerade's predecessor, to two championships during the 2002 Philippine Cup and 2003 Fiesta Conference.Ironically, Reyes was also the Coca-Cola's coach when it lost to Talk 'N Text during the 2003 Philippine Cup Finals for the Tropang Texters' first ever PBA championship. Via (GMA News)