TALK ’N Text coach Norman Black is convinced that at any given night, still winless defending champion San Mig Coffee is capable of recapturing its old, championship form.
That's why Black is readying the Tropang Texters (2-1) to engage the slumping Mixers (0-3) ahead of the rematch of last year’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals protagonists on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Black said defense and an up-tempo offense that maximizes the Texters' deep bench will be their main weapon against the Mixers, whom he expects to go all-out in light of their back-to-back lopsided losses that have left them in an unfamiliar place nearthe bottom of the pack.
“We are expecting a hungry San Mig team especially in light of their loss to Rain or Shine last Friday,” said Black ahead of the 6:30 p.m. showdown with the Mixers.
"We just want to continue to improve on our defense while keeping the game as up tempo as possible."
The Mixers bowed to the Petron Boosters, 73-98, on February 13 before absorbing their worst beating this season against the Elasto Painters, 65-93, spoiling the return of last season’s Commissioner’s Cup Best Import Denzel Bowles.
Bowles, the 6-foot-10 forward out of James Madison University, took the blame for the loss and vowed to come out with a much better effort against a Tropang Texters side reinforced by the 6-11 Keith Benson.
“I'm sure they (Tropang Texters) want to come out and blow us out but we're not going to give up on that. We'll come out on Sunday,” said Bowles, who had 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting, 14 rebounds and an eye-popping eight turnovers against Rain or Shine.
Talk ’N Text is slowly getting back to its deadly form as seen in its 99-79 lynching of Globalport on Wednesday.
Benson recorded another double-double with 20 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks, serving as the team’s defensive anchor. Jason Castro, Jimmy Alapag, Larry Fonacier and even Kelly Williams are expected to lend additional scoring support for the Tropang Texters, who bowed to the Mixers in the Finals of last season’s Commissioner’s Cup, 3-4.