• Blackwater takes on TNT, guns for third win

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    Blackwater is on a hunt for a third victory when it battles Talk ‘N Text while GlobalPort seeks a back-to-back wins when it plays against the Star Hotshots today in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

    The Elite, who just posted their first ever back-to-back victories in the PBA, will face the Tropang Texters in the first game at 4:15 p.m. to be followed by the Batang Pier-Hotshots match at 7 p.m.

    The Texters who are coming off a 108-103 win over Barangay Ginebra on Sunday.

    “We will do our very best to ride on our win streak and get another victory tomorrow (today) against Talk ‘N Text,” Blackwater coach Leo Isaac told The Manila Times through a text message. “Ronald Pascual has been elevated to the regular line-up and Jason Melano went to the reserve list.”

    Mac Belo led the Elite to two consecutive wins – against Phoenix Petroleum (94-87) and Meralco (86-84). He finished with 17 points and nine rebounds against Phoenix and posted 25 points and six rebounds against Meralco.

    Besides Belo, veteran Dennis Miranda, Reil Cervantes, Kyle Pascual, Arthur Dela Cruz, James Sena, Dylan Ababou, James Forrester, Bam Gamalinda, Nards Pinto and Ronjay Buenafe, among others, are also expected to step up against Talk ‘N Text.

    The Tropang Texters, on the other hand, are determined to give the Elite trouble as they field last conference’s Best Player Jayson Castro.

    “I’m ready to play 100 percent but it depends on the coaches. I’m also excited that Nash Racela is now our coach. He’s been with Talk ‘N Text for nine years as assistant. I think we should not underestimate Blackwater. They are a good team. I just rested for two games and I don’t have any injury,” Castro told The Manila Times in a phone interview

    Castro will be supported by Kris Rosales, Kelly Williams, guard Ryan Reyes, Harvey Carey, forward Ranidel De Ocampo, Troy Rosario, Moala Tautuaa and Larry Fonacier.

    The Texters are currently holding a 1-1 win-loss record.

    Meanwhile, Globalport seeks two straight wins when it faces the Star Hotshots. The Batang Pier are coming off a 97-75 win against the Mahindra Floodbuster in their opening game behind the solid performance of guard Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle.

    They are holding a1-0 win-loss record.

    The Hotshots, on the other hand, are keen to recover from their opening day defeat to reigning champions San Miguel Beermen (88-96).

    “We are just positive and we’re ready to play GlobalPort,” said Star Hotshots coach Chito Victolero. “We learned a lot from our loss to San Miguel Beer. We just need to avoid more committing turnovers. In our last game, we had 30 and our opponent got 29 points from there.”

    The Hotshots, who hold a 0-1 record, will be leaning on Paul Lee, Jean Marc Pingris, Aldrech Ramos, Ian Sanggalang, Peter June Simon, Allein Maliksi and Mark Barroca as they battle Batang Pier.

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