Talk ‘N Text to make do sans Gilas players for several more gamesBy Celest R. Flores |INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines — Talk ‘N Text will have to make the best of what it has for at least three more games in the 2013 PBA Governors’ Cup.
Head coach Norman Black said on Friday that four of the Tropang Texters, who were part of the Philippine national team were given a month off, but are expected to come back sooner.
“Actually we gave them a month, but that would mean they’ll miss 8-9 games. Most of them have said they’ll come back a bit early,” said Black after Talk N’ Text’s 118-113 overtime win over Barako Bull.
In a shortened conference such as this, three games could make or break a team’s bid.
But the Texters won’t rush to get their stars Larry Fonacier, Jimmy Alapag, Ranidel de Ocampo and Jayson Castro, who are fresh off a historic finish in the 27th FIBA Asia Championship, back.
“Because they didn’t get their break at the end of the PBA conference, we told them they will get their break now,” said Black. “We’re just holding true to what we promised them.”
Out of the Gilas Pilipinas roster, only the sparingly-used June Mar Fajardo has so far suited up in the first week of the third conference, which opened just three days after the Fiba Asia title round won by the Hamed Hadadi-led Iran.
Talk ‘N Text survived its first game parading a shorthanded line up behind the sterling performance of its athletic import Tony Mitchell, who exploded for 48 points Friday night.
And it’s no secret that the Texters will have to continue to rely on the 24-year-old Mitchell along with Ryan Reyes and new recruit Sean Anthony to stay on the winning track.
Burly power forward Harvey Carey was also absent during his TNT’s opener as he is in the United States for his wedding — with Alapag as his best man.
“You’re probably wondering why he’s getting married in the season, but this is not originally our season. We changed the schedule but his wedding was already set,” said Black.
The league, prior to this conference, made changes into its schedule to give the national team ample time prepare for the Asian championships.
Apart from his participation on Carey’s wedding, Alapag will also attend his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary and won’t be back until September.