Talk ‘N Text will be aiming to extend its winning streak to seven when it competes against Mahindra today in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Texters, currently on top of the standings with a 6-0 win-loss record, will meet the Enforcers in the first game at 4:15 p.m. to be followed by the 7 p.m. match between the Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Road Warriors and the Phoenix Petroleum Fuel Masters.
Talk ‘N Text recently replaced import Mario Little with the 6’5 Mychal Lamar Ammons who averaged 18 points and 18 rebounds in his first two games. Tropang Texters coach Jong Uichico said he is satisfied with Ammons’ performance, “He provides us what we need and we’re hoping he maintains his performance,” Uichico told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Thursday. “We still have four games left in the elimination round and we’re hoping, if it’s God’s will, to stay undefeated.”
But Uichico warned his players not to take Mahindra lightly because of their ability to play cohesively. Jayson Castro, Ranidel De Ocampo, Jeth Troy Rosario, Ryan Reyes, Kelly Williams, Moala Tautuaa and Kris Rosales will lead the charge against Mahindra.
Import Michael Madanly, who scored 30 points in their game against Phoenix, will provide the team additional firepower.
“They (Mahindra) are playing as a unit and we cannot afford to relax against them. They have a good 6’9 import (James White),” he added. “What make them a contender is that every player knows their exact role in the team.”
Mahindra, coming off an impressive 97-88 win over Blackwater on Sunday, is sharing the No.2 spot with Barangay Ginebra and reigning champion San Miguel Beer that are also bearing 5-2 win-loss records.
White who averages 25 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks in seven games, is expected to get in the way of the Texters and so are Nino ‘KG’ Canaleta, LA Revilla, Nards Pinto, Keith Agovida and Aldrech Ramos.
“We’re up to the challenge,” Mahindra deputy coach Chris Gavina said. “We have to play with a champion’s attitude to overcome Talk ‘N Text. They are definitely the hottest team around.”
Meanwhile, NLEX will try to bounce back from its defeat to Meralco on Wednesday when it meets Phoenix Petroleum. The Road Warriors, with a 3-4 win-loss record, will be relying on import Henry Bill Walker as they take on Phoenix.
The Fuel Masters, with a 2-4 win-loss record, will rely on import Eugene Phelps, John Wilson, Cyrus Baguio, Mark Cruz and Norbert Torres as they collide with NLEX.
JOSEF T. RAMOS