Texters face Express, Bolts tangle with Batang Pier


Posted at Oct 16 2012 09:37 PM | Updated as of Oct 17 2012 05:37 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Talk ‘N Text will go for its third straight win when it plays Air21 in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday.

Norman Black, who recently steered the Ateneo Blue Eagles to its 5th UAAP title win, will fully take over the Tropang Texters’ coaching reins when they collide against the Express at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.

Black said he hopes Talk ‘N Text has already fully grasped his system by now, unlike in their previous game when they survived a scare from GlobalPort and won by only 4 points, 108-104.

“Probably, nobody noticed we had lots of miscommunications out there. The players are still learning the system,” said Black in PBA.ph.

Jason Castro led the Texters past Batang Pier with a season-high 30 points, while Ranidel de Ocampo chipped in 15 last Friday.

Air21 coach Franz Pumaren said they will have to make stops against Talk ‘N text, the defending Philippine Cup champion.

“We have to slow them down and limit their transition points,” said Pumaren.

But before the TNT-Air21 clash at 7:30 p.m., GlobalPort will seek its first Philippine Cup victory versus Meralco at the 5:15 p.m. curtain raiser.

Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio is wary of the Batang Pier players who remain hungry for a win.

"It is going to be a huge battle against GlobalPort. They are fighting to get their first win and that makes them very dangerous. We are not leaving anything to chance," said Gregorio in a separate PBA.ph report.

Gregorio said that against GlobalPort, they need to display the same drive shown in their victories over Alaska and Barangay Ginebra.

"We must make sure that we sustain our intensity on defense. The same defensive mind-set exhibited against Alaska and Ginebra is required to continue our winning streak," he stated.

Despite their losses, the Batang Pier has been showing improvements game after game.

GlobalPort lost by 20 points to Ginebra. In its recent defeat against Air21, it lost by 7.

Adding to the threat is the return of scoring machine Gary David, who has recuperated from a bruised left knee.