The last time they met, the Talk n Text Tropang Texters and the Barako Bull Energy battled it out for a spot in the finals.
Meeting again Wednesday night, they’re just fighting for survival.
Both need to rally in the closing stage of the PBA Governors Cup elimination round to carry over a competitive win-loss card into the semifinals.
They’re well aware they have to start doing the job now since their fates hang in the balance as they clash in the 7:30 p.m. main game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday.
“It’s a must-win game for both teams,” said Talk n Text coach Chot Reyes, stressing the importance of the game.
Only six teams make the next round. Barako Bull shares fifth and sixth places with Barangay Ginebra at 3-3 while Talk n Text is a rung down at 2-3.
“We must figure out not only how to stop the prolific Leroy Hickerson but their deep and talented local crew as well. The problem is we’re not playing anywhere near the level to compete versus the top teams as seen in our last few games,” said Reyes.
“We have to be consistent to beat Talk n Text. Talk n Text is an offense-oriented team, thus, consistency on defense is essential,” said Barako coach Junel Baculi.
Talk n Text charged back from 1-2 down to beat Barako Bull, 3-2, in their Commissioner’s Cup semifinal showdown.
It was close, and the same is expected in their rematch.
“Willie Miller and Ronald Tubid must carry the team,” said Baculi, trying to underscore what they’ve been missing from top forward Danny Seigle.
Needless to say, Talk n Text is also bugged by injury woes.
Returning from a 13-day layoff, the Texters still played short-handed minus Jared Dillinger, Ryan Reyes and Harvey Carey.
Notwithstanding their absence, the Texters, however, checked a two-game slump with an 80-72 whipping of the Alaska Milk Aces in a road game in Tubod, Lanao del Norte Saturday.
Barako, meanwhile, bungled the momentum of a two-game run, running into the wall versus Rain or Shine Sunday.
“We just can’t match up well with the tough teams,” said Baculi. (SB)