Fuel Masters take on TNT today


Phoenix Petroleum and Talk ‘N Text (TNT) are both bent on returning to the winning path when they clash today in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Fuel Masters and the Tropang Texters will collide in the 4:15 p.m. first game while the Gin Kings will face the still winless Mahindra Floodbusters in the second game at 7 p.m.

After being routed 79-123 by the Star Hotshots, Phoenix Petroleum coach Ariel Vanguardia said there is no other way but to get up and win. The Fuel Masters are going into the game with a 2-2 win-loss record.

“We got to bounce back and we need to play more consistent basketball on both ends,” Vanguardia via text message told The Manila Times. “The game we have won and lost are extremes. We have to find a good balance.”

Star Hotshots’ Jio Jalalon drives on Mark Borboran of Phoenix during a PBA Philippine Cup game at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday. PHOTO BY BOB DUNGO JR.

Star Hotshots’ Jio Jalalon drives on Mark Borboran of Phoenix during a PBA Philippine Cup game at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday. PHOTO BY BOB DUNGO JR.

The Fuel Masters will be relying on swingman JC Intal, veteran Cyrus Baguio, Simon Enciso, rookie Matthew Wright, Willie Wilson, John Wilson, Mark Borboran, Norbert Torres, Chico Lanete, Marvin Hayes and Gelo Alolino.

The Tropang Texters, on the other hand, are aiming to bounce back from an 87-98 loss to sister team Meralco Bolts last December 9. Talk ‘N Text, under new head coach Nash Racela, holds a 2-2 win-loss record.

Veteran Jayson Castro, Kelly Williams, Troy Rosario, Moala Tautuaa, Harvey Carey, Kris Rosales, Larry Fonacier, Ryan Reyes and Ranidel De Ocampo will lead Talk ‘N Text against Phoenix Petroleum.

The Governor’s Cup champion Gin Kings lost 84-91 to GlobalPort last December 11. Ginebra is keen not to add another defeat to its 1-2 win-loss record.

Veteran Mark Caguioa and Jay-Jay Helterbrand will lead the Gin Kings supported by teammates Earl Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, Dave Marcelo, rookie Kevin Ferrer, Solomon Mercado, Jervy Cruz, Aljon Mariano and Chris Ellis.

The Floodbusters, on the other hand, remain winless in four outings.

“We played probably our worst game in a couple of conferences the last time out, so we’ll be looking to bounce back strongly,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone. “We are still looking for that elusive rhythm that we keep talking about. We need a little better sense of urgency.”

Mahindra aims to post its first victory in five games. Assistant coach Chris Gavina remains optimistic though they’ve lost 91-94 against defending champion San Miguel Beer last Sunday.

“I truly feel we were able to take a big step toward our team’s development last game by being able to dial in our game plan against San Miguel Beer and executing it. We displayed great resolve as a team and not just individuals,” Gavina said through a text message.

“We have been hard at work in getting fine tuned on our skills and creating a heightened sense of defensive focus and energy going up against a high-powered Ginebra team,” added Gavina.

“As long as our defensive effort and selfless style of play is implemented I feel we can always put ourselves in a position to beat anyone.”

The Floodbusters’ charge will be led by Jeric Teng, Ryan Arana, Philip Paniamogan, Jason Ballesteros, LA Revilla, Mark Yee and Alex Mallari.


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