Blackwater is determined to prove that its opening game victory against Phoenix Petroleum was not a fluke when it battles Meralco today in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Four days after surprising the Fuel Masters with a 94-87 win, the Elite will be facing the Bolts in the first game at 4:30 p.m. while the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings will play their first game against the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters in the second game at 6:45 p.m.
“It’s a new season and renewed energy for us hoping we sustain our good start [against Meralco],” said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac, who will rely on top overall pick Mac Belo, Ael Banal, Ronjay Buenafe, Dylan Ababou, Dennis Miranda, Art Dela Cruz and Riego Gamalinda.
Meralco, under the tutelage of coach Norman Black, will play their first game this season. They are very willing to redeem themselves this conference after losing to Ginebra during the championship round of last conference.
New recruits Joseph Yeo, rookies Ed Daquioag and Jonathan Grey will be playing with full energy alongside Baser Amer, Cliff Hodge, Reynel Hugnatan, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Chris Newsome and Jared Dillinger.
Ginebra, the Governors’ Cup defending champion, will be parading new recruits Kevin Ferrer, Raymond Jamito and Paolo Taha when they play Talk ‘N Text.
Without the injured 7-footer Greg Slaughter, Joe Devance, Jerby Cruz, Japeth Aguilar and Dave Marcelo will take care of the shaded lane while Solomon Mercado, Earl Scottie Thompson and Mark Caguioa.
“Talk ‘N Text didn’t shoot the ball well last time out, but we expect them to shoot the ball a lot better against us,” Ginebra coach Tim Cone said via text message. Hopefully we get over our first game jitters early and get going right away.”
You can’t beat TNT without your A-Game. I think we’re all looking forward to getting this thing started.”
Talk ‘N Text will bank on Jayson Castro, Kris Rosales, Troy Rosario, Ranidel De Ocampo, Larry Fonacier, Danny Seigle, Moala Tautuaa, Ryan Reyes, Kelly Williams and rookie Roger Pogoy.
The Tropang Texters will bounce back from opening game defeat to Rain or Shine last Wednesday.