Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black is hopeful that returning import Donnell Harvey can immediately contribute to the Tropang Texters when they try to arrest a two-game slide against a similarly struggling Barako Bull side on Saturday’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup road game in Legazpi City, Albay.
The 6-foot-8 Harvey came in to replace the 6-foot-11 Keith Benson, who despite averaging 23.6 points, 15.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks, could only lead the Texters to a 2-3 record in the early part of the import-spiced conference.
“We’re just trying to right the ship and get a win on Saturday versus Barako. I will find a way to fit him (into the team),” said Black, whose team faces the Energy Cola at 6:30 p.m.
Both squads are on a tailspin.
The Tropang Texters have dropped their last two assignments, against defending champion San Mig Coffee (82-90) and Alaska (69-92), while Barako Bull (3-3) has lost its last two matches, against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Petron Blaze, respectively, by an average of 17 points.
Barako Bull team consultant/coach Rajko Toroman expects the starting backcourt of Josh Urbiztondo and Jonas Villanueva to play a crucial role in the team’s success anew.
“They (Urbiztondo and Villanueva) played good during our first four games. And that’s the key for us to win again because a lot of the things we do in our system depends on them,” said the 57-year-old Barako Bull mentor, who also believes Mick Penisi can give Harvey problems.
“With their old import back, Mick will be a big help for us because of his size. He will help our import (Evan Brock),” Toroman said.
Still, the Serbian mentor reiterated his vote of confidence on Brock, who may not be a score-first type of import, but contributes a lot more on rebounding and the defensive end.
“I’m happy with Evan because he plays good defense and grabs those rebounds. We just need to get the ball to him as well. I know that’s he’s the problem why we lost (the last two games),” explained the former Smart Gilas national coach.
The 6-foot-9 Brock has still been putting up solid numbers with averages of 19 points, 16.3 rebounds and two assists in 41 minutes per game for the Energy Cola this conference.