RODNEY White, 32, noted that he has been around for a while and that he hopes that with the Petron Boosters, it should just be a matter of blending in rather than learning the playbook.
“I’ve been playing ball professionally for a while and there are not too many new plays I haven’t seen before. Basically, we started out pretty simple, so it’s just a matter of adjustment,” White said.
Now the 6-foot-9 White faces his first test as the Boosters take on Talk ’N Text and good friend Donnell Harvey on Friday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Boosters (6-2) are fresh from an ego-boosting 87-79 whipping Rain or Shine Elasto Painters last weekend despite playing all-Filipino after import Renaldo Balkman was banned from playing in the PBA.
Now, the boys of coach Olsen Racela hopes to ride on that momentum against Talk ’N Text (4-4) at 5:15 p.m.
White, who suited up for several NBA teams in the early 2000s and just last year played in the PBA for Barako Bull, said practice has been good since joining the team on Monday, going through some offensive and defensive plays as they prepare against the Tropang Texters.
Dennis Miranda, who has stepped up big during Alex Cabagnot’s recent absence due to injury, said the Boosters are slowly getting more comfortable playing with each other as evidenced in their big win against Rain or Shine.
“Mas maganda kasi ang ball movement ngayon kaya may rhythm na ang mga shooters. Di gaya dati na nagmamadali na sila tumira,” said Miranda, who is averaging 8.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists this conference.
The Boosters will be up against a Tropang Texters squad that is aching to get back on the winning track after suffering a 100-107 defeat at the hands of the Barangay Ginebra Kings on Sunday.
Talk ’N Text coach Norman Black said the way to go back up to the top of the standings is to play consistently on defense.
"We are at the point of the conference where we have to start playing with a sense of urgency," Black said.
"With Petron (Friday) and Rain or Shine on Sunday, we are at a crossroads. Offensively we are putting points on the board, we just have to re-commit to playing defense consistently and it has to start now. If we do that then you will see an improved performance on our part."
Playmaker Jimmy Alapag, who fired 23 points in Talk ‘N Text’s losing cause, said the team can expect a victory if the Tropang Texters could address their weaknesses as revealed in their Ginebra game.
“We’ve got a big week and we need to clean up some things that need to get fixed after the loss to Ginebra,” said Alapag.
The wily Talk ’N Text guard also believes White can be a solid contributor immediately for Petron because of his size and skills as a big man.
“I remember when Rodney was here with Barako Bull, he’s very skilled and a very big guy. He’s gonna be a huge asset for Petron,” he added.