GINEBRA’s starting point guard LA Tenorio believes Game Three is the perfect time for the Kings to pounce on a hurting Talk ‘N Text side, never mind if the Tropang Texters are set to parade a new import in Tony Mitchell when the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals series resumes Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Game time is at 7:30 p.m. with the Kings parading a full frontline with the return of big men Billy Mamaril and Rudy Hatfield after coming off separate injuries.
Reigning league MVP Mark Caguioa’s condition meantime is day-to-day, although the Ginebra star has already joined the team’s practice since Monday.
“Okay naman siya (Mark). Nung tinanong ko siya kung may masakit ba sa kanya after practice, wala naman daw, which is a good sign,” Tenorio said.
With the benefit of a complete roster, the Kings can now operate on full strength as opposed to the Tropang Texters, who are missing key players midway into the best-of-five series currently tied at 1-game apiece.
Veteran star point guard Jimmy Alapag won’t see action due to a calf muscle strain he sustained over the weekend while practicing with Gilas Pilipinas in Digos City during the All-Star weekend.
The Tropang Texters are also without forward Kelly Williams, who has taken an indefinite leave of absence due to a recurring blood disorder, while Jared Dillinger is out for the next six to nine months after figuring in a vehicular accident more than a week ago.
Talk ‘N Text scoring and defensive guard Ryan Reyes, on the other hand, is coming off a hamstring injury and may just have to play through the pain against the Kings.
“We just have to grab that opportunity dahil kulang-kulang sila,” said Tenorio. “Di naman sa masaya ako na may na-i-injure, pero at this point ng series, we just have to take advantage of that.”
Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black said with Mitchell as its import, the team is giving up five inches in height to Ginebra’s 6-foot-10 import Vernon Macklin, which is why he needs to get the best out of big men Ranidel de Ocampo, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Harvey Carey, and Ali Peek, who is set to return to action after dealing with back strain.
“Originally, we are to use him (Mitchell) as our third conference import, but because of the recent developments (losing Jimmy and Jared) in our team, we will now use him in our series against Ginebra,” explained Black.
Mitchell, named the 2013 NBA D-League Rookie of the Year, is a known scorer while playing for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. He averaged 21.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game this season with the Mad Ants.
He is coming in to replace the seven-foot Jerome Jordan.