Texters try to stretch win streak
MANILA, Philippines—Fresh off a week’s rest, Talk ‘N Text tries to extend its six-game winning run and creep closer toward the No. 1 spot in the playoffs when the Tropang Texters battle Powerade in the PBA Philippine Cup Sunday.
Game time is 4:15 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao with the Texters heavily favored to keep their winning streak going against a side that’s trying to stay in the magic circle of eight teams that will advance to the playoffs.
Talk ‘N Text has a league-best 8-1 slate, its last loss coming at the hands of Barako Bull, 100-86, more than five weeks ago.
The Tropang Texters won their next six games even with some of their dependable players going in and out of the injured list.
Ryan Reyes, Jimmy Alapag and defender Aaron Aban are out because of injuries, and Ranidel de Ocampo and Harvey Carvey, two of the best power forwards in the league, are just starting to regain fighting form.
Incidentally, the Energy will also be seeing action Sunday as they try to pin a fourth straight loss on Rain Or Shine in the 6:35 p.m. contest.
A victory by the Texters would put them a full two games ahead of second-running Petron Blaze, which is battling Meralco at presstime.
Battle for No. 2
The Elasto Painters, who dropped a 100-102 heartbreaker at the hands of B-Meg on Friday, Meralco and the Llamados are all gunning to bag the No. 2 spot, being at 7-4 overall.
The Texters are heavily favored to pull this one out, though the Tigers will be coming into the game fresh from a 104-84 victory over also-ran Shopinas.com that snapped a four-game slide on Wednesday.
“We will need every ounce of confidence and every drop of energy to compete against TNT,” said Powerade coach Bo Perasol. “We know, however, that we have it in us. Our wingmen will have to do an efficient job in defending their scorers.”
Jason Castro will again be the center of the Talk ‘N Text offense in the continued absence of Alapag, and former Smart-Gilas standout Marcio Lassiter could be the best candidate to stop the hard-nosed Talk ‘N Text guard.
“We’re still upbeat about our campaign this conference despite the losses,” said Painters’ coach Yeng Guiao, whose last two losses were both by two points.
“We believe the games just toughened us up for the playoffs. It’s part of the maturing process,” added the multititled mentor. “As long as we end the losing streak in our game versus Barako Bull we are still very much in contention.”