NORMAN Black is not making any excuses for Talk `N Text’s failure to make the playoffs of the PBA Governors Cup.
But the veteran coach had to stress what is noticeably obvious.
“Whether we like it or not, whether I want to admit it or not, my guys are tired,” said the Tropang Texters mentor after emerging from the team dugout following their 110-102 loss to Barangay Ginebra on Tuesday night that eliminated them from the quarterfinals of the season-ending conference.
In particular, Black said Jimmy Alapag, Ranidel de Ocampo, Larry Fonacier, and Jayson Castro had been visibly worn out after playing without much of a break for almost a year, capped by their stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the 27th Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship.
“The four guys who played for the national team who are my key players, they were not exactly the same players they were early in the year,” stressed Black.
“But I can’t really blame them, for what league or what country do you play for 12 months? Normally you give them a rest, we gave them two weeks (of rest).”
But in all, Black said the season is just as fulfilling for the Tropang Texters as the team won the Philippine Cup for the third straight season and immensely contributed to the national team’s runner-up finish in the Fiba-Asia meet that qualified the country to the world basketball championship for the first time in 35 years.
“We probably made the biggest commitment to the national team and we know we’ll gonna pay the price as far as our preparation and conditioning (for the Governors Cup),” he said.
The Talk `N Text coach said the team will probably take a well-deserved rest and then prepare to defend its All-Filipino crown starting November.