TALK ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico and lead assistant Tab Baldwin hopes the Tropang Texters could move on soon from the championship high as they begin their back-to-back title quest.
Uichico is hoping to avoid what happened to San Miguel Beer, who struggled in the Commissioner’s Cup after beating Alaska in a grueling seven-game All-Filipino championship series.
“Not much celebration, but I talked to the players and I told them we have to go back Monday to prepare for the next conference,” Uichico told Spin.ph.
The Talk ‘N Text mentor, who won his ninth league championship as a PBA coach on Wednesday, said the presence of imports Stephfon Pettigrew and Jordanian star Sam Daghlas will be huge, particularly during the first few weeks of the conference as he tries to cut down the playing minutes of local stars Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo and Larry Fonacier.
Talk ‘N Text has only over a a week to prepare for the third conference. The Governors Cup opens on Tuesday, but the Texters begin the title bid against Barangay Ginebra on May 10 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Malaking bagay yun dalawa, especially since my players played lot of minutes and they can relieve them of those minutes, especially Jayson, RDO and Larry. Hopefully, we can conserve them in the first few games,” he added.
De Ocampo, adjudged the Finals MVP, and Castro, the Best Player of the conference, averaged 37 minutes during the title series, while Fonacier logged 38 minutes.
Baldwin mentioned that winning back-to-back titles would be a huge challenge for his team given the short window of time to recover from the highly-physical title series against Rain or Shine.
“Probably by highlighting that (San Miguel’s struggles in the Commissioner’s Cup), with SMB and Alaska, they really fell off and it’s a brutal series for our guys,” said Baldwin.
“They (Tropang Texters) definitely need some recovery time and you get very little. But that’s the nature of the tournament. We have to man up, lick our wounds as quick as we can and get ready as quick as we can for the next conference becuase we can’t get in a hole,” added.