TALK ’N Text returns to action after an eight-day respite, looking to continue its winning streak in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and solidify its hold of the top spot when it faces San Mig Super Coffee on Monday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Tropang Texters (6-0) stake their unblemished record against the Mixers (3-1) in their 8 p.m. encounter.
"It's San Mig Coffee so it will be a big challenge for us," said Talk 'N Text coach Norman Black. "Major concerns will be for us to get back on defense especially off turnovers. We must also have a high energy level off the boards, because they are a good rebounding team."
An interesting sub-plot is the matchup between Talk ’N Text import Richard Howell and San Mig’s James Mays.
Both imports are regarded highly by several coaches after turning out to be perfect fit for their respective teams.
Howell, the 6-foot-8 forward out of North Carolina State, is averaging 22.8 points, 21.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals in his first six games with the Tropang Texters.
Black said they don’t really need Howell to score in bunches, with the slew of outside shooters and inside penetrators the team has led by Ranidel de Ocampo (17.1 points per game), Jason Castro (15.6 ppg.), Jimmy Alapag (9.0 ppg. and 6.0 assists) and Larry Fonacier (9.0 ppg.).
On the other hand, 6-foot-8 Mays is a tireless workhorse who averaged 20.5 points, 17.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists during his first four games this conference.
The only main concern for Mays is how he can keep himself out of foul trouble after averaging 4.2 fouls so far in the import-spiced conference.
With Mays in foul trouble, San Mig absorbed its first loss, bowing to Barako Bull, 90-92 last Tuesday in a game that saw the Mixers blow an 18-point fourth quarter lead.
Energetic Mixers forward Marc Pingris likes to look at the positive side, saying such a loss in the elimination helps the team take things into perspective.
“Iyung level ng laro namin (againsy Barako Bull), parang lumabas eh kulang ang timpla namin. Pero at least naman, maaayos namin ito. Saka maganda nga itong pagkakataon dumating ito sa amin, di naman laging panalo sa basketball, at least malalaman mo ano pa kulang,” Pingris said.