PETRON Blaze guns for a sixth straight win and a seat in the quarterfinals when it goes up against struggling Talk ‘N Text in the main game of the PBA Governors Cup on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Boosters are so far the hottest team in the season-ending conference by winning their last five games after dropping an 83-89 decision against the Meralco Bolts in the tournament opener.
Fresh from an eight-day respite, the Boosters (5-1) stake their winning streak against a Tropang Texters (2-3) side that will be without Ryan Reyes in the 7:30 p.m. face-off.
Reyes sprained an ankle in Talk 'N Text's last game - a loss to Alaska - and is listed as day to day.
Petron rookie coach Gee Abanilla said he’s been telling the Boosters not to let their early success go to their heads, stressing they haven’t accomplished anything yet.
“We’re on top of the standings, but if we believe the things that are being told by other people, there'll be room for complacency,” Abanilla explains.
“We haven’t done anything special yet that’s why we got to stick together, keep our head low, and just keep believing in the system and work on that chemistry,” he added.
Petron has been playing superb basketball for the first time this season.
The Boosters are whacking the opposition by an average winning margin of 17.6 points, the result of their growing confidence and solid chemistry under the guidance of Abanilla.
Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black admitted being aware of what Petron can do, which is why he has been preaching non-stop to his team to play better defense in this single-round elimination.
“It’s basically a must-win situation for us starting with my import Tony Mitchell,” said Black.
“The focus has to be to play better defense. We have proven we can score points but we must give a better effort on the other end of the court,” he added.
The Tropang Texters currently occupy seventh spot in the standings, a position Black hopes will improve beginning with a win against the streaking Boosters.
An added sidelight of the game is the one-on-one match-up between the high-scoring Mitchell and Petron’s athletic import Elijah Millsap.
The 6-foot-5 Mitchell, a one-time NBA D-League slam dunk champion, is averaging 36.6 points and 11.0 rebounds in 41.2 minutes of play.
Millsap, meantime, averages 28.3 points and 11.8 boards in 38 minutes.