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Pacquiao’s Kia takes on TNT

Maliksi vs. Pacquiao

Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:15 p.m. – Talk ’N Text vs Kia
7 p.m. – Blackwater vs Ginebra

Philippines – The streaking Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters try to wrest the solo lead and deliver a much-consistent performance when they tackle the dangerous Kia Carnival today in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Tied for the lead with sister team Meralco with five wins and one defeat, Talk ‘N Text is looking to move on from its unsatisfying 98-96 victory over fellow MVP squad NLEX last Friday in their 4:15 p.m. encounter with Kia.

TNT led 59-30 in the second quarter but NLEX battled back to tie the game at 96-all with nine seconds left.

But Tropang Texters star Jayson Castro made sure that his team will go victorious as he buried a buzzer-beating jumper from about 20 feet to break the hearts of the Road Warriors.

The scary win came in the debut of former NBA player Ivan Johnson, who finished with 32 points and 10 rebounds in nearly 34 minutes of action after replacing reigning Best Import Richard Howell.

“It was his first game, so he’s still adjusting. Until now he’s still adjusting so we expect a tough game against Kia,” said Uichico.

Uichico will also rely on rookies Kevin Alas and Matt Ganuelas, Willie Miller, Ryan Reyes and Larry Fonacier against the Carnival, who will try to slay another giant after last week’s stunning 95-84 victory over defending champion Purefoods Star Hotshots.

In that game, Kia’s 7-foot-4 import Peter John Ramos recorded 32 points and 26 rebounds. This conference, the Puerto Rican national Ramos is averaging almost 34 points and 19.5 rebounds per game.

Backing up Ramos are Kia guards LA Revilla and Eliud Poligrates who combined for 33 points, as well as veteran free agent signees Mark Yee and Leo Avenido, and rookie Kyle Pascual.

Kia’s designated playing coach Manny Pacquiao could show up today before flying to the United States to prepare for his megabuck fight with Floyd Mayweather on May 2 in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao suited up and scored his first point as a pro cager against Purefoods after splitting a pair of free throws in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra eyes its second straight win against lowly Blackwater at 7 p.m.

Ginebra, carrying an even 3-3 slate, is coming off a 96-87 win over Purefoods last Sunday with Michael Dunigan leading the way with 22 points and nine rebounds.

Blackwater is at the bottom of the tournament with a 1-5 card.