TNT Katropa wants a piece of the tournament lead and it can attain that should it continue its rousing start in the continuing 2016 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup.
Armed with a 2-0 start, the Tropang Texters are playing gallantly but they are set to face an acid test when they take on rejuvenated Alaska Aces (1-1) at 7 p.m. in the main event at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City in a battle of heavyweights.
Prior to that, a tiff between the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Blackwater Elite, which both tote a 1-1 slate, serves as the curtain-raiser at 4:15 p.m.
Having an underwhelming season, Talk ‘N Text is starting to pick up the pieces and this solid start might be what it needs to possibly get back in contention for a title. A win will allow it to tie surprising leader Mahindra Enforcers (3-0) at the top of the heap. The Tropang Texters downed the Elasto Painters in their conference opener before tripping erstwhile unbeaten sister team Meralco Bolts, 98-95, in their last game last Saturday behind 24 points from star Jayson Castro.
TNT Katropa coach Jong Uichico is positive that the few days off that they got will benefit the Texters against the Aces, who will miss the services of superstar Calvin Abueva who was suspended by the league for one game.
“We had a couple of days off and plenty of time to prepare for Alaska. Hopefully, that works in our favor,” said Uichico.
They will face the pumped up Aces, who themselves scored a morale-boosting 109-100 overtime win against Barangay Ginebra last Sunday to break into the winning column.
“We’re kind of in control lately,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton. “We’re still getting our rhythm and we’re slowly getting there.”
In the Alaska win, Abueva elbowed Ginebra’s Chris Ellis in the face early in the fourth period. He was able to escape any penalty the game. But the league slapped him with a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2 upon review of the game and he was handed a one-game suspension and a P22,000 fine.
The Elasto Painters rebounded in their second game following a tough loss against TNT Katropa in their opener. They hammered winless Phoenix Petroleum Fuel Masters, 106-89, last Saturday to claim their first victory.
Blackwater did the same thing and caught a big fish in its last game.
The Elite escaped with a 100-98 squeaker over loaded Star Hotshots last Friday to post its first win as well.