TALK ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico hopes his silent treatment would send the message loud and clear to his team as it seeks to put an end to its uncharacteristic slide in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
The Tropang Texters try to display an utmost sense of urgency as they take on Blackwater on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, three days after the Commissioner’s Cup champions extended their misery with a 101-96 setback at the hands of rival San Miguel Beer.
Asked what he told his players in the dugout after his powerhouse team reeled to its fourth straight defeat, Uichico initially shook his head.
“Nothing,” the soft-spoken tactician began to speak. “We just huddled and I told them to go home.”
“We just have to move on.”
Uichico rattled off to the media some of the factors that he feels has been bugging the Tropang Texters – championship hangover, injuries, and attitude, among others – in their longest losing streak since SMB swept them, 4-0, in the semifinals of the last Philippine Cup, only the third time in the last five years that rare occurrence has happened.
And the multi-titled mentor hopes they have found a way to solve them as the Texters try to pump life into their flat-lining postseason hopes in the 4:15 p.m. encounter against the cellar-dwelling Elite.
Mid-table squad Globalport (4-4) battles another skidding side in NLEX (2-6) in the second game of the doubleheader at 7 o’clock.
In terms of injuries, the Tropang Texters still have some issues with stopper Aaron Aban not yet fit to play, and Kevin Alas just back from sick bay and was fit to play against the Beermen, although the rookie playmaker didn’t see action.
And the Texters need all the help they can get for star Jayson Castro, who has regained the form that earned him the Best Player of the Conference honor in the midseason conference, as well as Ranidel de Ocampo and imports Steffphon Pettigrew and Sam Daghles.
The Texters, in a tie for ninth spot with a 3-5 win-loss card, face an Elite side that’s also on a tailspin, having lost their past three matches to get stuck at the bottom with only one win to show in seven outings.
But one thing going for them is mystery as they field a new import in Marcus Cousin, a 28-year-old 6-foot-11 former Utah Jazz campaigner who is set to stand in for Marcus Douthit as the naturalized Filipino is with the Gilas Cadet team in the Southeast Asian Games.