TALK ‘N Text coach Norman Black isn’t thinking of slowing down as the Tropang Texters stake their unbeaten record against a Rain or Shine squad without its head coach in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Tropang Texters opened the import-spiced conference with seven straight victories, punctuated by an 81-75 triumph over the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers just before the PBA All-Star break.
Black hopes his squad can chalk up its eighth straight win at the expense of the Elasto Painters, who will be missing the coaching acumen of Yeng Guiao, who is out for a 10-day business trip to Europe.
Assistant coach Caloy Garcia will be the calling the shots in lieu of Guiao, who will be absent for two games.
“We want to stay focused and stay sharp. Rain or Shine is a good team so it will be a good match-up,” Black said heading to their 8 p.m. collision with the Elasto Painters.
Rain or Shine’s bruising frontline of Beau Belga, Larry Rodriguez and Jervy Cruz is expected to make life miserable for Talk ‘N Text’s well-built import Richard Howell, who is averaging 23.1 points, 21.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.7 steals this conference.
But Rain or Shine’s new import Wayne Chism is out to redeem himself from a foul-plagued PBA debut where he still managed to finish with 17 points, 16 rebounds and five assists in the team’s 99-77 spanking of winless Globalport.
Chism, the former Barako Bull import prospect, came in to replace Alex McLean.
Rain or Shine is currently tied in fifth spot with Air21 with identical 3-3 records.
A win though could put the Elasto Painters into a tie for fourth place with defending champion Alaska Aces and a better chance of finishing at least within the third to sixth seeds heading into the playoffs.
The top two teams earn twice-to-beat incentives against the seventh and eight seeds, respectively, heading into the playoffs, while the third to sixth seeds will play in a best-of-three quarterfinal series.