Talk ‘N Text will be aiming for a sixth straight victory today when it faces a red-hot Phoenix Petroleum in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.
The Tropang Texters, currently No.1 with a 5-0 win-loss record, will face the Fuel Masters in the first game at 4:15 p.m. while the reigning champion San Miguel Beermen and will collide against the GlobalPort Batang Pier in the second game at 7 p.m.
Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico said the Tropang Texters should be wary of Phoenix Petroleum’s new import Eugene Phelps that led the team to a recent back-to-back victory.
“We are very cautious against Phoenix because they are playing with a new import, a strong import that’s why we need to double all efforts in defense and rebounding,” Uichico told The Manila Times on Thursday in a phone interview.
Phelps replaced Marcus Simmons.
Meanwhile, the Texters new import Mychal Lemar Ammons, who replaced the injured import Mario Little, posted 18 points, 18 rebounds and two blocks in their 109-89 win over Blackwater on August 13.
He is expected to improve his output and lead Talk ‘N Text anew with the help of Ranidel De Ocampo, rookie Jeth Troy Rosario, Jayson Castro, Ryan Reyes, Larry Fonacier, Kelly Williams, Kris Rosales and Harvey Carey.
“I believe we can see more of him (Ammons). I’m pretty sure he will lead us to victory. We are undefeated in the last five games but so far I don’t feel any pressure. I’m confident we can get the job done against Phoenix,” added Uichico.
Phoenix, on the other hand, is coming off two straight triumphs against GlobalPort (120-107) and Mahindra (100-94) after absorbing three straight losses. The Fuel Masters carry a 2-3 win-loss record.
“We just have to take one game at a time and follow the game plan,” said Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia. “It is really good that Eugene and the rest of the players were able to deliver in the last two games. I’m hoping we sustain the win against Talk ‘N Text.”
Phelps, known as “El Destructor” in the pro leagues in Central America, finished with 52-points against GlobalPort on July 31, and with 23 points and 21 rebounds against erstwhile unbeaten Mahindra on August 12.
Besides Phelps, Phoenix will also count on local players Cyrus Baguio, Simon Enciso, Mark Cruz, Norbert Torres, Josh Urbiztondo, Mark Borboran, Ronjay Buenafe, John Wilson and Willie Wilson.
Defending champion San Miguel Beer, meanwhile, is expecting a tough fight from GlobalPort since it is hungry for a victory. The Beermen are currently No.2 with a 4-1 win-loss record.
“They (GlobalPort) are very dangerous. They are hungry. You can see the last time they played, they were very aggressive,” San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria told The Manila Times in a phone interview.
“We have to stop their guards especially Terrence Romeo, Joseph Yeo and Stanley Pringle.”
San Miguel Beer will lean anew on import Arizona Reid, Arwind Santos, two-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, Ronald Tubid and Gary David.
The Batang Pier are coming off a 126-123 win over the Meralco Bolts and carry a 1-4 win-loss record.
Globalport will be banking on the talents of Romeo, Pringle, Yeo, Anthony Jay Washington, Anthony Semerad, Billy Mamaril, Karl Dehesa and import Mike Glover.