Texters ready to battle back, face the Energy
MANILA, Philippines—Defending champion Talk ‘N Text battles Barako Bull Friday, a night after getting derailed by an unlikely conqueror, as it tries to stay in the lead in the elimination round of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Game time is 5:15 p.m. at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay with the Texters still listed as favorites, even as Air21 seeks a followup to its monumental upset of TNT by taking on Alaska in the 7:30 p.m. game.
The Express pulled off the upset of the conference on Wednesday night, an 89-78 conquest of the Texters despite getting just five points from import Marcus Douthit.
Talk ‘N Text fielded a new import in that game in Donnell Harvey, who fired 21 points and collared 28 rebounds. But the locals were out of sync as the Texters were held down to their season-low output.
A repeat of that form against the Energy could prove disastrous for the Texters who certainly cannot afford another loss considering that the round is nearing the homestretch.
Harvey showed a penchant for fighting for possession underneath. He also had 15 offensive boards against the Express, but most of them were from his own misses.
The former rebounding champion in the Chinese league could find life harder against Rodney White and the Energy, though. On Wednesday, Harvey missed half of his 14 attempts from the field.
Douthit was under the weather against the Texters but still gave it his all. He will have to contend with Adam Parada, the 7-footer who has been one of the reasons why the Aces are in second spot.
“Down the road, we certainly need to get a lot more offensively from Marcus,” Air21 coach Franz Pumaren said.
Pumaren’s locals more than held their own against the Texters with four of them finishing in twin digits. And after the victory that ended the team’s 14-game losing streak since the Philippine Cup, Pumaren is now entertaining thoughts of making the playoffs.
“It’s free to dream about it anyway,” he said.