DEFENDING champion Talk 'N Text looks to pounce on the absence of June Mar Fajardo and keep its winning streak going when it meets Petron Blaze on Saturday in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Tropang Texters have been on a hot streak lately, posting big wins over Rain or Shine, Barako Bull, and Air21, to move to solo third with a 6-2 record.
Talk 'N Text will be eyeing win no. 7 in its 3:30 p.m. match with Petron.
Coach Norman Black though admits beating the Boosters even without an injured Fajardo (MCL sprain on right knee) is easier said than done because the team still has a solid core to lean on.
“Even with the absence of June Mar, Petron still has very talented players so we don't have time to relax,” said Black, whose team was held to a season-low 63 points during its first-round meeting against Petron.
Reigning league MVP Arwind Santos is coming off a 22-point, 12-rebound effort in the Boosters' 83-97 loss to Barangay Ginebra during its marquee Christmas Day match-up.
Black said he's wary of Petron's armada of scorers led by Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz, and playmaker Alex Canagnot.
Backup center Doug Kramer had 11 points and 14 rebounds in his first start at the center position, a role he will continue to play until the 6-foot-10 Fajardo's expected return on January 8.
The Tropang Texters also welcome the return of veteran playmaker Jimmy Alapag from a two-game absence after dealing with a groin muscle strain the past week.
The Boosters dropped their last two games after opening the season with seven straight victories.
Petron suffered a 95-99 overtime loss to Rain or Shine before its 14-point defeat to the Kings before a crowd of more than 20,000 on Wednesday.