EVERYBODY is now after Talk ‘N Text, which is, in the words of Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia, ‘the best team right now’ in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“TNT is probably the best team right now, they probably have the best import,” said Garcia, whose Elasto Painters will try their luck at stopping the KaTropa’s hot streak in the midseason conference.
Garcia is referring to Terrence Jones, who is averaging 34.5 points, 15.88 rebounds and six assists.
Talk ‘N Text, actually one of only two teams now having streaks (the other one being Magnolia), is on a roll with five straight victories capped by 109-102 win over Columbian Dyip last June 21.
Garcia believes his Elasto Painters stand a good chance at halting TNT’s streak if they could limit not only Jones, but also TNT’s able locals, including Roger Pogoy, Jayson Castro and Troy Rosario.
“We have to find ways how to limit his (Jones’s) scoring at the same time their locals Pogoy, Jayson, (and) Troy,” added Garcia.
“They’ve been playing good,” stressed Garcia.
The Painters meet the KaTropa in the 7 p.m. main offering of an interesting double-header that will also see a rejuvenated Columbian Dyip taking on NorthPort in the first tussle at 4:30 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Nonetheless, TNT coach Bong Ravena understands very well the need for his KaTropa to be on guard as pressure keeps mounting as they seek to clinch one of two spots that offer the luxury of having to win only once in the quarterfinal round.
“We have to play hard against RoS,” said Ravena in a text message to People’s Journal. “We cannot take them (Elasto Painters) for granted. It’s a must win game for both of us.”
The KaTropa, who are playing for the first time in 10 days or since that victory over the Dyip last June 21, are currently toting a 7-1 win-loss slate, and a victory today will bolster their bid for the top two seeds.
The KaTropa are half-game ahead of NorthPort (7-2). Another team in strong contention for the quarters bonus is Magnolia at 5-2.
The Elasto Painters are still in the magic eight at 3-4. They, however, need to win more because they are in danger of getting ousted by other teams Meralco, San Miguel Beer and Columbian – three teams hogging the cellar but are still in contention.
The Bolts are at 3-6, the Beermen 2-5 and the Dyip 2-6. These three teams can still reach five wins, with still nine playing dates left in the elimination.
The Dyip for instance are inspired, thanks to a 134-132 overtime win they pulled over the Beermen – something that should give some alert on the Batang Pier.