AT a time when Norman Black and Talk 'N Text were cramming to re-acquiant balik-import Donnell Harvey to their system, the Texters were left in the dark.
Just three minutes into their practice at the Ibalog Recreation Center on Thursday night, a power outtage hit the Legazpi City arena and halted the Texters' first practice since Harvey came in to replace Keith Benson.
“Nakapag warm-up na kami, tapos papalakad na kami sa court nung biglang dumilim,” said Talk n Text star center Ranidel de Ocampo, smiling. “Madalas daw pala ang brown-out dito."
The power outtage forced the team to abandon some drills particularly their big men and wingmen routines, but it didn't stop some Texters from polishing their shooting and doing other conditioning exercises.
“Kahit madilim, nag shooting-shooting pa rin kami. Yung iba naman, nag-push up at jogging-jogging, nakapag stretching na kasi kami nun eh,” added the soft-spoken Tanza, Cavite native.
While their players were shooting hoops, some enterprising ballboys used flashlights and cell phone led lights to illuminate the court.
“Alam mo naman mo mga kasama namin, mga boy scouts,” de Ocampo said in jest.
When power was restored around 15 minutes later, Black crammed to introduce Harvey to the system he put in place since he assumed the head-coaching post at the start of the current season.
Harvey led the Texters to a runner-up finish in last year's Commissioner’s Cup back when Gilas coach Chot Reyes was still calling the shots for the multi-titled MVP franchise.
De Ocampo is elated to have the 6-8 rebounding demon back.
“Mas okay ito, kasi ma-hustle, saka alam na niya laro namin,” said the 31-year-old big man of Harvey, who led the Chinese Basketball Association in rebounding this season.
“Saka mas may power sa loob si Donnell at yung energy niya na ibibigay malaking bagay sa amin yun.”
Black now hopes the six-year NBA veteran will revive the campaign of the reigning Philippine Cup champions, who after two successive losses have found themselves in the unfamiliar position of seventh place with a 2-3 record.
Harvey and the Texters will have one final practice on Friday night, before they face another skidding team, the Barako Bull Energy Cola, in a road game on Saturday.