Texters, Painters face separate foesBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Aiming to follow up on their recent huge wins, Talk ‘N Text and Rain Or Shine take on separate opponents in a bid to stay in the top two of the PBA Philippine Cup standings Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Tropang Texters clash with Air21 at 4:15 p.m. just four days after a vicious pounding of powerhouse San Mig Coffee Mixers that raised their leading record to 9-2.
“We cannot let our guard down. We still have tougher games ahead,” said coach Norman Black of his Tropang Texters, who remained on course for one of the two top berths and a twice-to-beat incentive in the playoffs.
The Elasto Painters tackle the crowd-darling Ginebra Gin Kings at 6 p.m. hoping to break their tie for second with the idle Mixers by improving to 8-3.
Powered by the trio of Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood and Beau Belga, the Elasto Painters completed an improbable comeback from 26 points down to shock, 102-98, Meralco in overtime last Wednesday.
On the same day, the Tropang Texters surprisingly routed the Mixers, 92-63, in a duel highly anticipated to be a nip-and-tuck affair.
“We will try to get there,” said Black of his team’s bid to keep top spot. “Obviously, by beating San Mig Coffee, it gave us a better chance for the top two.”
“We did a good job from start to finish,” said Black. “We got a lot of good looks at the baskets and did well with our spacing.”
The Painters, though, hope to avoid a repeat of their poor start against the Bolts before his veterans gutted it out in the clutch.
But the Painters face a rejuvenated Ginebra side that picked up three consecutive wins after dropping five straight.
“Our mindset is to get to the .500 win-loss mark,” starting point guard LA Tenorio said of the Kings, who hold an even 5-5 card.