• Phoenix, TNT eye fifth 5th win

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    Phoenix Petroleum and Talk ‘N Text are both eyeing for a fifth win when they clash against separate foes today in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

    The Fuel Masters will face Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Road Warriors in the 7 p.m. game after the 4:15 p.m. match between the Tropang Texters and the Mahindra Floodbuster.

    The Fuel Masters are holding a 4-4 win-loss record after losing to the Elasto Painters last week.

    “We are expecting NLEX at their best,” said Phoenix Petroleum coach Ariel Vanguardia via text message. “At this point, every game is a must win for all of us. We need to stay in the hunt.”

    The Fuel Masters need a strong performance from rookie Matthew Wright, veteran players Cyrus Baguio, Mark Borboran, JC Intal, Willie Wilson and Chico Lanete, Norbert Torres, point guard Simon Enciso, Prince Caperal and John Wilson.

    Cyrus Baguio No.3 and Matthew Wright No.35 of Phoenix defend against James Yap of Rain or Shine during a PBA Philippine Cup game at the Araneta Coliseum. PHOTO BY BOB DUNGO JR.

    On the other hand, the Road Warriors, with a 2-6 win-loss record, are fighting for survival. NLEX will be relying on Kevin Alas, Carlo Lastimosa, Enrico Villanueva, Sean Anthony, Paul Asi Taulava, Eric Camson and Jonas Villanueva to stay afloat.

    The Tropang Texters are presently sharing the fifth to ninth spot with Barangay Ginebra, Alaska, Phoenix and the Star Hotshots that are also holding similar 4-4 win-loss records.

    Blackwater carry a 5-4 win-loss record.

    After losing to the Hotshots last Sunday, Talk ‘N Text coach Nash Racela said they’ve already made adjustments in their game plan against Mahindra. “We have to cover their shooters to increase our chances of winning the game,” he said.

    “Mahindra is on a roll and we cannot allow them to get their rhythm. We need to start well and learn how to control the game in the second half,” added Racela.

    Mahindra, for its part, aims to extend its win streak to three. After a lackluster 0-5 start, the Floodbuster bounced back defeating Blackwater and Meralco to improve their win-loss record to 2-5.

    “Talk ‘N Text is still one of the more offensively explosive teams in the PBA. Being able to hold Jayson Castro in check is always a priority when dealing with TNT,” Mahindra assistant coach Chris Gavina said through a text message.

    “We need to be disciplined on defense and not allow them easy catch and shoot opportunities. Defensive efficiency is our primary concern for a positive result in tomorrow’s (today) game,” Gavina added.

    Mahindra will lean on Philip Paniamogan, LA Revilla, rookie Russel Escoto, Mark Yee, Mike Digregorio, Jason Ballesteros and Nico Salva as they take on TNT.

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