|James Yap was his old unstoppable self last Friday night. When he hit that fallaways from the baseline for an and-one with time under four minutes, well, when he does that it's time to go home.|
Color them unstoppable
by rick olivares pic by nuki sabio
At 13-0, anyone would have to at least say, “Wow, Talk ‘N Text sure does looks unstoppable.”
Heading into the Commissioner’s Cup Finals with an unblemished record is an impressive feat by no means.
Knowing Norman Black, he never was thinking of going 16-0. He will always take it one game at a time. Only when he is in a position for that sweep then will he allow those thoughts to entertain his mind.
Well, all that is moot and academic right now after San Mig Coffee blitzed them in the opener of their finals series last Friday night, 95-80.
Another thing about Norman Black is his history with such streaks. Well, this is diving back to his days with the Ateneo Blue Eagles that might be apples and oranges but his teams have always flirted with perfection only to suffer a loss at a key juncture. But the master of adjustments always got his teams back on track after which they copped the trophy.
However, this is the pros and on the opposite side of the court is another coaching genius who is pretty good with adjustments himself.
I have to say I am very impressed with the way the Mixers have taken the last two championships.
After taking last year’s season-ending Governors’ Cup, they started out flat in this season’s Philippine Cup. “Championship hangover,” was one of the reasons cited by basketball analysts. On the verge of being booted out early, they found their groove and made short work of a top-seeded Ginebra squad that has since fallen off the charts.
The Mixers once more started out slow this conference. The label of lowest seed is actually a misnomer (especially their semifinals battle with Air21). That’s simply because simply they aren’t a bottom feeder. San Mig Coffee is always in the fight. They are in their element in the playoffs and when playing for keeps. We just like to slap labels on teams and people. Besides, it makes for a good sub-plot.
Now Air21…. They’re an up and comer and they are starting to make a name for themselves.
But right now, the San Mig Coffee Mixers are relentless (they never stepped off the gas pedal in Friday’s huge win over TNT), incredibly focused, and even more incredibly hungry. You can see it in the way they play.
The finals series may be a battle of two former grand slam coaches on the side but it is also the battle for perpetuating one’s dynasty.
These are the two most recently successful basketball teams in the land.
Talk ‘N Text would look to reclaim that mantle while San Mig Coffee would like their run to continue a little bit longer.
Right now, you can just color them Mixers unstoppable.