COACH Chot Reyes firmly believes his Talk N Text team still has what it takes to make the playoffs of the PBA Governors Cup, maintaining it's just a matter of his players having time to practice together and his injured players coming back.
The Tropang Texters have had ample practice time together and should be having a prized player in Jayson Castro finally suiting up Saturday when they take on the Alaska Aces in a PBA On Tour match at the Mindanao Civic Center Gym in Tubod, Lanao del Norte.
"We finally got some practice time in and hopefully Jayson can play. It's a gametime decision," related Reyes, whose charges started out the season-ending tournament without a complete roster in game nor practice.
The Texters last saw action June 3 and used the intervening period to hone their plays and familiarize anew with each other.
Still, Ryan Reyes and Jared Dillinger remain on the injured list, so their coach has to make do with what he has.
At casual glance, TNT seemingly could afford to lack some pieces, although Alaska is one team hell-bent on snapping out of a four-game slide to avoid early elimination.
"We do not control our destiny, but we have a slight chance if we sweep our last three games," said Aces coach Luigi Trillo, whose charges wind up the eliminations phase against Barangay Ginebra Friday and Air21 on June 27.
Trillo doesn't want his Aces getting ahead of themselves, however, and would like them to focus on the task at hand. He even prepared his team to the idea TNT will be playing with an intact lineup.
"Talk N Text is a team that will have a complete lineup," maintained Trillo.
"Both teams will be battling for survival. We need this win just as bad as they need it and I believe my guys can come out of their shooting slump."
Trillo would not say it out loud, but he believes his team reached its lowest point in the tourney when it lost to B-Meg, 61-77, last Wednesday.
The 61 is the lowest output in a game in the last nine years. It is also the lowest in a game by any team in the last three-and-a-half years.
Its latest loss was keyed by Alaska's 23-for-71 field shooting, including a woeful 2-for-16 clip in the third period.
Those numbers just make Trillo believe his Aces have nowhere to go but up.
"We had good shots in our last game but missed some."
Alaska breaking out of its slump and his own absent players make Reyes cautious going into the Phoenix Fuel-sponsored tiff.
"It's gonna be a toss-up," said Reyes.(NC)