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PBA playoffs kick off today

Blakely vs Reid

Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
5:45 p.m. – Talk ’N Text vs Barako Bull
8 p.m. – San Mig Coffee vs. San Miguel Beer

Manila, Philippines – Top seed Talk ’N Text, armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, shoots for a second straight finals stint as it plays No. 8 Barako Bull today at the start of the quarterfinal playoffs in the season-ending PLDT Home Telpad PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Tropang Texters clinched the No. 1 spot in the playoffs after finishing their elimination round campaign with a 7-2 record, and Talk ’N Text coach Norman Black expects a tough encounter against the Energy Cola.

“It’s an interesting match up against Barako Bull,” said Black.

Barako Bull, however, holds a slight advantage coming into the playoff match as coach Siot Tanquingcen and his wards were one of the only two teams to inflict a loss to TNT, 88-74, last June 10.

In that game, Barako Bull import Allen Durham finished with 28 points and 29 rebounds in only his second PBA game after replacing Eric Wise, while Keith Jensen and Willie Miller added 17 and 15 points, respectively.

That victory against the Tropang Texters gave the Energy Cola automatic quarterfinal spot, returning to the quarterfinal playoffs after failing to make it to this stage in the previous conference.

The game between TNT and Barako Bull is set at 5:45 p.m., before the 8 p.m. encounter between the San Miguel Beermen and the San Mig Coffee Mixers. The Mixers lost to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painers, 95-94. (Waylon Galvez)

RAIN OR SHINE 95 – Reid 39, Norwood 12, Almazan 10, Belga 8, Lee 7, Cruz 6, Chan 6, Teng 4, Arana 3, Uyloan 0, Tiu 0, Nuyles 0, Ibanes 0, Rodriguez 0.

SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE 94 – Pingris 15, Sangalang 14, Simon 13, Blakely 10, Yap 8, Taha 7, Melton 7, Barroca 6, Mallari 6, Devance 4, Maliksi 2, Matias 2, Holstein 0.

Quarterscores: 34-28, 60-46, 77-73, 95-94