TNT, Red Bull Seek Equalizer
Byline: WAYLON GALVEZ
BARANGAY GINEBRA and San Miguel Beer showed no rust to win the series opener despite coming off a month-long layoff. Now, it's Talk 'N Text's and Red Bull's turn to prove that it could bounce back from a loss.
The Phone Pals, after a 115-100 shellacking from the Gin Kings last Wednesday, try to even their Talk 'N Text-PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinals series in their 4:35 p.m. duel at the Araneta Coliseum.
Likewise, the Bulls, who wilted under a fourth quarter barrage by the Beermen to absorb a 114-109 loss, try to even matters up with San Miguel in the 7:20 second game.
Aside from the 30-day break, the Kings also played sans big man Eric Menk, the 2005 Most Valuable Player, who is out for the semifinals due to a right calf muscle injury he sustained during practice two weeks ago.
However, Ginebra came through with sustained firepower anchored on hotshot Mark Caguioa and ace playmaker Jayjay Helterbrand.
Caguioa dropped 34 points, the 20th time in his pro career he scored 30 or more, and fifth time against the Pals, while Helterbrand finished with double-double 13 points and career best 16 assists.
Known for their running game, the Kings made good use of it as they combined for 40 points from fastbreaks and turnovers against the 29 by the Phone Pals.
And despite the absence of the 6-foot-6 Menk, they still controlled the boards, as off-season recruit Rudy Hatfield collared 14 of his team's 58 rebounds compared to their opponent's 56.
But even as they won the series opener, San Miguel Coach Jong Uichico announced that it was no big deal winning that game. …