COACH Norman Black expects Talk ’N Text to keep its energy high as it stakes its unblemished record against unpredictable Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Tropang Texters have opened the conference with five straight wins, the most recent a 91-68 drubbing of sister team Meralco Bolts on Friday on the same night Ginebra came up with a 113-107 victory over winless Globalport to end a two-game skid.
The Gin Kings (2-2) and Texters face off at 5:15 p.m.
Black noted that Ginebra likes to play import Leon Rodgers on isolations, and that they have made special preparations on defense to try to stop the 33-year-old former North Illinois stalwart.
“We are coming off a game Friday so we must continue to play with high energy level,” said Black. “Individual defense will also be important especially against their import who receives a lot of isolation plays.”
Rodgers knocked down 19-of-22 free throws in that game, finishing with a team-high 33 points to lead the Gin Kings, who drew inspiring performances from “the Fast and Furious” backcourt tandem of Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand.
Ginebra coach Ato Agustin said beating a top-caliber squad like Talk ’N Text requires a total team effort, and he expects his local crew to bring its A-game come Sunday.
“Kailangan din talaga ang support ng mga locals, which is ginawa naman ng mga locals (against GlobalPort) gaya ng ginawa ni Mark Caguioa na naka-double-double. Pero again, communication sa loob is very important," Agustin said.
Caguioa played inspired basketball against Batang Pier, posting 15 points and 14 rebounds to trigger the Gin Kings' second-half offensive.
Jayjay Helterbrand also came up big, scoring 14 points, on five-of-eight field goal shooting.