MANILA, Philippines – The Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters, unbeaten after the elimination round, are seeking a spot in the PBA Commissioners Cup semi-finals as they take on the Barangay Ginebra Kings Tuesday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
At 9-0, the Texters are the top seed in the conference and will have a twice-to-beat advantage against the crowd-favorite Kings, who only mustered a 3-6 slate after the elimination round.
But TNT head coach Norman Black warned that making the Final Four will be easier said than done as the Texters have had a long lay-off and might have to deal with rust.
“We have been off for a while, so we are looking forward to getting back on the floor,” Black said in a PBA.ph report.
The Texters will also have to deal with Ginebra import Gabe Freeman, who was brought in as a replacement for Josh Powell and is determined to lead the Kings past the top team in the league.
“Ginebra is always tough because they are tall and talented, and they have the crowd support. You add in the intensity of Gabe Freeman, and they will be a difficult foe,” said Black.
Black hopes the Texters will be bolstered by the return of their own import, Richard Howell, who sat out their last two games due to injury.
“Richard has been attending regular practice and is ready to go,” said Black.
“For us, defense will be the key,” he added. “We have to defend, rebound, and try to limit their fastbreak opportunities.”
Talk 'N Text had beaten Ginebra, 94-87, in their elimination round game which saw the Kings parade Leon Rodgers as their import.
Game time is at 8 p.m.