If coach Chot Reyes is right that his team is not yet in shape, then Talk n Text could be in for another long, lonely night.
The Tropang Texters have lost their first two games and may face a tough task arresting their slump against a Petron side that has got off to a blazing start in the PBA Governors Cup with its rejuvenated lineup.
The Boosters are riding the momentum of a two-game run while the Texters are reeling from back-to-back losses as the arch nemeses collide at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We’re not ready at all,” said Reyes, stressing they’re not yet in competitive form, still banged-up from their taxing grind in the recent Commissioner’s Cup.
“We’re far from being in shape. Added the fact that we’re up versus the best team with the best import (Eddie Basden), all we can hope for is to keep the game close and have a chance in the end,” Reyes also said.
The Boosters, on the other hand, are pumped-up and revved up by their recharged roster.
It’s the other way around from the last time these two teams met.
The Texters are aching with injuries to several core players while the Boosters are now back with a healthy, solid manpower.
Jay Washington, in particular, is back in harness, providing Petron tremendous boost.
“Balik na agad ang timing niya. At ang laking bagay ang ibinibigay ng presence niya,” said Petron coach Ato Agustin of Washington.
The 6-foot-7 Fil-Am forward has instantly regained his rhythm, playing significant role in their 101-88 win over the Meralco Bolts last Saturday.
Chris Lutz, another returnee from the injured list, and Chico Lanete, a transferee from Barako Bull, have also been of help.
And the Boosters only intend to get going.
“The tournament features a ‘carry-over’ format, and so every game counts. We have to win as many games we can,” said Agustin.
The Boosters will certainly take opportunity if the Texters are not ready.
Talk n Text lost its first game versus Meralco while missing the services of Kelly Williams, Jimmy Alapag, Ryan Reyes, Jason Castro, Harvey Carey and Ali Peek.
Castro, Carey and Peek were still out as the Texters suffered a second straight defeat at the hands of the Air21 Express.
The Boosters, on the other hand, were impressive in their 97-83 winning debut versus the Powerade Tigers and in their 101-88 follow-up win over the Bolts.
The defending champs could even get better on the reactivation of Dondon Hontiveros and the addition of Marcio Lassiter soon. The two are still nursing injuries. (SB)