Talk ‘N Text hopes to keep its clean record intact as it faces Air 21 in the opener of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The Tropang Texters, holding the top spot with 3-0 mark, and the Express collide at 5:15 p.m., followed by the tussle between Barangay Ginebra and Meralco at 7:30 p.m.
Donnell Harvey debuts for Talk ‘N Text and will be pitted against Marcus Douthit of the Express.
“Air 21 has a proven, high quality import who plays well with them while this will be our first time with Donnell Harvey after only three practices together,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes.
Harvey arrived last week to replace Omar Samhan. The ex-Florida Gator was the New York Knicks’ first round pick in the 2000 draft and had stints with Dallas, Denver, Phoenix and New Jersey.
He also played overseas in Bosnia, China, Puerto Rico, Italy and Turkey.
The Express are hoping to end a two-game slide to stay on course for a spot in the next round. But Air 21 coach Franz Pumaren knows that’s easier said than done.
“We are playing the best team of the tournament that’s why we should play smart and try to outwork them for us to compete,” said Pumaren.
“We should try to slow them down and limit their fastbreak points and correct our dry spell during the course of the game,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Bolts are fighting for their survival as they seek an important win against the streaking Kings, who are at solo second spot with 3-1 mark.
Meralco and Rain or Shine are sharing the cellar at 1-4 each and are in danger of getting eliminated this early.
“Bounce back, that is our plan to save our conference. We will do whatever it takes and grind ourseleves to victory. We are not giving up,” said Bolts head coach Ryan Gregorio.
The Kings, behind Mark Caguioa and new import Jackson Vroman, are coming off a 105-96 win over Powerade.
“We have to stay focused and play with intensity because for sure Meralco would be playing with a sense of urgency,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen.