MANILA, Philippines - Unbeaten Talk n Text and streaking Alaska Milk clash in a duel of the hottest teams in the league in the main feature of the PBA All Souls Day presentation at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Thursday night.
The Tropang Texters again stake their unblemished Philippine Cup record while the Aces seek to stretch their searing four-game streak as they slug it out at 7:30 p.m.
Petron Blaze hopes to stay right behind the tournament leaders while Air21 takes a shot at joint seventh as they battle in the day’s other game at 5:15 p.m.
The Boosters welcomed the change in the coaching set-up in the team Friday, blasting the Globalport Batang Pier, 110-98.
Obviously more united and more comfortable under coach Olsen Racela, the Boosters are the prohibitive picks versus the Express.
The Texters and the Aces, meanwhile, are expected to figure in a fierce battle.
Talk n Text is unbeaten in six games while Alaska has gone four in a row in a huge turnaround from a 0-2 season start.
The Aces have become more competitive with the addition of Calvin Abueva, going 3-0 since the arrival of the 6-foot-1 former NCAA star.
Averaging double-double numbers, Abueva, however, is likely to face acid test against Kelly Williams and company.
For Alaska coach Luigi Trillo, the whole Talk n Text team is a tough test even on the possible continued absence of Jayson Castro.
“What worries me most is that team knows each other so well, and people don’t realize how good they are also defensively,” said Trillo.
“Coach Norman’s team plays defense. They are not just a drive-and-kick team. They have multiple plays,” Trillo added.
At 6-0, Black insists they’re still a work in progress.
“We’re aware that we’re 6-0 but it’s not our main concern. We have a long way to go and we have many things left to develop,” said Black.
The Texters were pushed to the wall in their last two games but survived, outlasting the Barako Bull Energy Coffee, 79-76, then outdueling the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 80-77.
Talk n Text rallied from 13 points down in the third quarter and outmaneuvered Rain or Shine in the crunch behind Larry Fonacier, Jimmy Alapag and Ranidel de Ocampo.