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PBA: Too close to call

COACHES Jong Uichico of Talk ‘N Text (left) and Yeng Guiao of Rain or Shine shake hands as PBA Commissioner Chito Salud, PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio, and the teams’ players look on during the PBA Finals conference. (Tony Pionilla)

Rain or Shine and Talk ’N Text practically play alike that determining which team has the edge is like asking which car is faster, a Ferrari or a Lamborghini.

The PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven championship series start tomorrow and it’s probably a toss up.

Here’s why: They both like to shoot rainbows and run-and-gun is their bread and butter. They can even play physical when the occasion calls for it.

“We both like to shoot the three-point shot,” said Coach Yeng Guiao of Rain or Shine. “We shoot 32 (from the three-point area) a game, and I thought that was a lot. But TNT shoots 33. They’re shooting better percentage than we are.”

“I thought our 19 threes was hard to match, but they matched it the next game. Jayson is shooting the three really well. Lahat ng guardiya ng Purefoods (ginamit), yung security (guard) na lang ng Araneta Coliseum ang hindi ginamit sa kanya,” said Guiao, drawing laughter.

“That’s going to be a problem for us. We’ll cancel each other out in outside shooting,” he said.

That being the case, he said “We’ll try to win games in some other aspects.”

Statistics show that Talk ’N Text is shooting almost 37 percent (174-of-471) from three-point area, while Rain or Shine is making nearly 34 percent (158-of-472).

As for physicality?

That comes from TNT import Ivan Johnson, a former NBA veteran, he with the shaven head and bearded face, who had skirmished with Marc Pingris in the semifinals.

The 6-foot-8, 255-pound Johnson, said he has no plans of slowing down.

“Oh yeah. That’s what I’m came for,” said Johnson. “They’re a good team, but we’re a good team too.”

Tasked to match Johnson’s physicality is the ROS frontline of 6-foot-7 Raymond Almazan and the 6-foot-5 Beau Belga, who said: “Ganun pa din naman yung ila-laro namin, tignan na lang natin sa Finals.”

This is the second time Rain or Shine and Talk ’N Text will meet in the finals. The first was during the 2013 Philippine Cup which TNT won by a 4-0 sweep.

While the Painters are targeting only their second title, the Texters are seeking their seventh in 16 tries. (Nick Giongco)