Talk ‘N Text aims to bounce back from a frustrating first loss when it battles a red-hot GlobalPort today while reigning champion San Miguel Beer will be parading a new import in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Tropang Texters, who remain the solo leader with 6-1 win-loss record, will test the Batang Pier in the first game at 4:15 p.m. to be followed by the 7 p.m. game between the San Miguel Beermen and the Meralco Bolts.
After losing 104-107 to the Mahindra Enforcers, Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico said there is no other option but to win against the Batang Pier to strengthen their hold of the No. 1 spot.
“We really need to bounce back,” Uichico told The Manila Times via text message.
Talk ‘N Text’s import Syrian Michael Madanly is expected to come back strong after a poor showing. Talk ‘N Text will also lean on import Mychal Lemar Ammons, Ranidel De Ocampo and Jayson Castro as well as rookies Moala Tautuaa, Kris Rosales and Jeth Troy Rosario.
The Batang Pier, on the other hand, are coming off a three-game winning streak including a slim 101-99 win over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Saturday in Legazpi, Albay.
GlobalPort now holds a 3-4 win-loss record after a 0-4 start.
“We just have to go to the small details, I mean we have to work on hustles, defense and score through tip in,” GlobalPort coach John Cardel, a former professional player, told The Times in a phone interview on Tuesday. “It is really good that we still have this winning momentum.”
GlobalPort started the streak with a double overtime win over Meralco (126-123) on August 14, followed by its huge win over defending champion San Miguel Beer (98-92) on August 19 in Antipolo City.
“Hopefully, we get our fourth straight victory,” added Cardel. “But Talk ‘N Text is a different team. We need to stop its dribble-drive offense, which is very fast aside from its deadly shooters. We must play great defense the rest of the game.”
The Batang Pier will be banking on Terrence Romeo, playmaker Stanley Pringle, import Michael Glover, Billy Mamaril, Anthony Jay Washington, Doug Kramer, Karl Dehesa, Anthony Semerad, Joseph Yeo, veteran Sunday Salvacion and Yousef Taha.
Meanwhile, the Beermen will be playing with substitute import Michael Singletary when they battle the Bolts. Singletary, a former Barako Bull import in 2013, arrived last week to replace Arizona Reid, who is nursing an Achilles heel injury.
San Miguel Beer is No. 4 with 5-2 win-loss record behind No. 3 Mahindra (6-2), No. 2 Barangay Ginebra (6-2) and No. 1 Talk ‘N Text (6-1). After losing to the Batang Pier, the Beermen upset the Alaska Aces (106-103) on August 24 behind June Mar Fajardo’s 37 points.
Besides Fajardo and Singletary, Marcio Lassiter, Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot, Chris Ross, Ronald Tubid and Gary David will also lead the charge of the Beermen.
The Bolts, with a 5-3 win-loss record, will rely on Cliff Hodge; import Allen Durham, Jared Dillinger, Jimmy Alapag, Bryan Faundo, Kelly Nabong, Reynel Hugnatan and rookies Baser Amer and Chris Newsome.
“We have been working hard in practice to prepare for San Miguel Beer because we must keep winning to keep on pace for the twice to beat advantage,” said Meralco coach Norman Black via text message. “Our biggest concern is we are not quite sure about the import situation.”