Talk about hitting the nail in the head: In our last post, we broke down the Semi-Final match-ups and picked The Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters and B-Meg Llamados to make it to the Finals. We were one Ginebra victory away from hitting our predictions on the button.
Those are two tremendous match-ups in the semis but it is time to break down the Finals series between the Tropang Texters and the Llamados. The series begins tonight.
The Coaching Chess Match
One of the highlights of this series is that it features a battle of two of the best coaches in the PBA. Chot Reyes and Tim Cone have been two of the most dominant coaches PBA has seen in the last 15 years.
The biggest difference in this series is that Reyes has a set of very familiar cards. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of all his players, and he knows how to light the fire under their bellies should he need to do so.
Cone on the other hand is still learning how to deal with the Llamados. Learning Cone’s Triangle Offense is by no means easy and that is why the American coach is giving his team ample time to learn it.
With the help of Johnny Abbarientos and Jeffrey Cariaso, members of the old Alaska dynasty, Cone is spending a huge amount of time explaining just how his system works to his players but doing it in practice is much different from breaking out from their old habits and doing it in game.
The question here is whether or not the Llamados learned enough of Cone’s system to beat the tried and tested methods of Reyes and his Tropang Texters.
Experience versus Energy at the point
Texters' Jimmy Alapag is the reigning MVP, and for good reason. He is a stable point guard oozing with leadership and the knack for hitting 3-point daggers.
B-Meg, on the other hand has a couple of young and largely untested point guards in Josh Urbiztondo and Marc Barocca.
Although Alapag is ahead by leaps and bounds in the leadership department, the energy and the scoring ability of the B-Meg duo cannot be overlooked.