TALK ’N Text has yet to play its first game in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, but its import is already in danger of being the first to get the boot.
Reports reaching Spin.ph revealed the Tropang Texters reinforcement Keith Benson has performed well below expectations in practice, leaving coaches frustrated with his lack of toughness inside the paint.
“May perimeter shooting kaso kulang eh. Kaya madalas sa depensa na siya pinag-po-focus ng coaching staff,” said the source who asked that he not be named.
The same set-up had been implemented by the three-time defending Philippine Cup champions during its tune-up game against NLEX last Wednesday.
Rumors that Benson, with his finesse game, is on the way out hit fever pitch when former team import Donnelle Harvey was spotted on Friday night at the Big Dome.
Harvey was Talk `N Text’s import when it finished runner-up to San Mig Coffee in last year’s Commissioner’s Cup.
The hard banging 6-foot-8 American forward is currently playing for the Tianjin Steel in the Chinese Basketball Association, although his Philippine agent, Sheryl Reyes, disclosed the Steel are already on the brink of being eliminated.
“Two games na lang sila. So magiging available na siya,” Reyes said.
The feisty female agent revealed Harvey is in Manila to celebrate the Chinese New Year, but hinted, “though we never know, ‘up the hill he goes'" before bursting into laughter.
Reyes did not deny other teams are also pursuing Harvey.
“Hinihingi ko na nga `yung release niya sa Talk N’ Text eh, kasi may isa nang masugid na nag-i-inquire, but Donnelle told me priority pa rin niya yung Texters, kasi nga may unfinished business pa siya dun.”
Talk `N Text big man Ranidel de Ocampo however, is not about to dismiss Benson yet.
“Hindi pa naman nakikita sa actual game, kaya huwag muna husgahan,” said De Ocampo, named one of 17 players of coach Chot Reyes for Gilas Pilipinas..
“Meron din naman siyang strengths, pero hindi sya yung pang-banggaan. Ang laro niya parang Kevin Garnett ... Hindi ganun kalapad pero lumalaban,” said the tough playing forward, who admitted Benson is not the type of big man willing to bang bodies inside.