Resurgent texters eye fourth win

September 29, 2018
Bong Ravena

IT looks like things are going the way of Talk ‘N Text.

After overhauling their  coaching staff and changing imports twice, the Texters seemed to have regained their rhythm just in time to keep themselves in the thick of battles in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

The resurgent Texters have won two straight after a 1-4 start under coach Nash Racela, who was forced to go on leave.

Now, the Texters will try to ride the momentum of that back-to-back wins but will have to be cautious enough because they are playing a NorthPort team whose being winless in five games makes it pretty dangerous.

The Texters meet the Batang Pier in the 4:30 p.m. opening tussle of a double-header that will also see Magnolia and San Miguel Beer collide in the main offering at 6:45 p.m. as the elimination round reaches the halfway mark at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

TNT, a team that used to dominate the league not so long ago, routed Columbian Dyip last Sept. 2, 118-84, under interim coach Eric Gonzales, then subdued Rain or Shine, 110-104, last Sept. 22 in Passi City, this time under now head coach Bong Ravena.

The Texters started their campaign in the season-ending conference on the wrong foot last August 17, losing to NLEX, 103-90, in a defeat that put import Mike Glover in peril of getting axed.

Glover was still around when the Texters rebounded in a 92-90 win over Meralco last August 19, but that proved to be his last stint with TNT which opted to get Stacy Davis to replace him. The import change seemed to have no impact at all on the Texters who fell in ambush to Blackwater, 104-98.

The TNT slide went unabated, losing two consecutive more – 126-95 to Alaska (Aug. 26) and 112-82 to Phoenix (August 31).

It was at this juncture that coach Nash Racela went on leave of absence, forcing the TNT management to designate Gonzales, who nevertheless did not disappoint as he led the Texters to victory over the Dyip.

Gonzales was quickly replaced by former UE Warrior Ravena in TNT’s continuing overhaul of coaching staff.

Ravena did a great job too for the Texters who, with the help of Marqus Blakely (their third import in the conference), defeated the returning Elasto Painters in a game in Passi City.

The Batang Pier have lost five straight, but that situation could prove a great motivation for them in their bid to barge into the win column.

As for their goal, the Texters need much focus since they are still below the standings at 3-4.

“Kailangan pa namin magprepare kasi nasa ilalim pa kami,” said Gonzales. “Mahirap po talaga ang sitwasyon namin, wala namang magic e. Kailangan talaga magtulung-tulong.”

Meanwhile, the Hotshots, who drubbed the Painters, 92-76, last Sept. 26, try to keep themselves well-entrenched in the upper half of the standings, but will have to deal with the Beermen who are seeking to bounce back from a 110-102 loss they suffered at the hands of the Gin Kings last Sept. 23.