Early PH Cup exit blessing in disguise for TNT


Posted at Mar 25 2014 03:48 PM | Updated as of Mar 25 2014 11:48 PM

Richard Howell of Talk N Text (light) vs Greg Slaughter of Ginebra (dark).PBA image by Nuki Sabio

MANILA, Philippines – Talk ‘N Text point guard Jimmy Alapag believes the Tropang Texters' early exit from the PBA Philippine Cup turned out to be a blessing in disguise for his team, who are now at the top of the league standings in the ongoing Commissioners Cup.

Talk ‘N Text finished in fourth place with an 8-6 record last conference, but ran into a surging San Mig Super Coffee team in the playoffs and lost in a best-of-three quarterfinals series.

“I think the disappointment from losing last conference might have been a blessing in disguise,” Alapag said in an interview with PBA.ph. “It gave us some extra time to really prepare for the conference.”

“The guys got healed up and got to a better condition going into the conference,” he added. “I think those are making the big difference, so far.”

Talk ‘N Text has won all six of its assignments so far in the Commissioners Cup, the latest of which was a victory over perennial crowd favorites Barangay Ginebra, 94-87.

Alapag was quick to give credit to their import, Richard Howell, who has been putting up modest numbers for a reinforcement.

“A lot of it has to do with our import. Rich has been great for us. I know a lot of other imports are putting up big numbers, but Rich is a great fit for us, and we’re happy that we have him,” said Alapag.

Howell tallied 19 points and 23 rebounds in Talk ‘N Text’s victory over Ginebra.

“We’re taking things one game at a time,” Alapag said. “We’re trying to build some confidence going to the playoffs. The conference is so short, so it’s important for us to build (our confidence).”

The Commissioners Cup will follow a single-round robin elimination format, with the top two teams earning a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.