Talk ‘N Text is in such a terrible shape that the Tropang Texters have to put a stop to its losing ways starting today when they battle expansion club Blackwater as the playoff race heats up in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After a 3-1 start, TNT, the Commissioner’s Cup titlist, has dropped its last four games, shoving the Texters on the brink of missing the next phase and in grave danger of saying goodbye to their quest for-back-to-back titles.
“Must win,” said TNT Head Coach Jong Uichico when asked to assess their dimming hopes of making the grade for the next round.
The TNT (3-5) vs Blackwater (1-6) match happens at 4:15 pm before the main event starring Globalport (4-4) against NLEX (2-6) at 7.
The top eight teams make it to the quarterfinal round.
TNT has lost its last four matches against Globalport (120-123), Meralco (85-119), Rain or Shine (73-88) and Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer (96-101).
Surprisingly, the slump came at a time when the team’s main stars had returned from injuries.
Still, even with Ranidel de Ocampo and Jayson Castro suiting up, TNT could not seem to get back on track.
So fancied is TNT that the acquisition of top imports Steffphon Pettigrew and Asian recruit Osama Daghles of Jordan only made the squad even tougher to beat.
The Texters face a Blackwater side that will parade a new import in Marcus Cousin, a replacement for Marcus Douthit, the naturalized Filipino slotman who is lending a hand to the Philippine cause in the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
Cousin, a 6-11 product of Seton Hall and a one-time member of the Utah Jazz, touched down over the weekend and is raring to put the wiggle and jiggle back into the Elite as he has been working out with the lowly team the last five days.
“He’ll very much help the team particularly on defense,” said Blackwater team manager Johnson Martines yesterday. “He’s young, he provides energy to the team and hopefully, he can help us stay in playoff contention.”
Blackwater opened the conference at 0-3, but after winning its first game with a victory against Ginebra San Miguel (83-77), the team dropped its previous three games – the last was a 123-85 beating from Rain or Shine, the franchise’s worst defeat in the PBA.
The 28-year-old Cousin, who last played in Puerto Rico, will replace a player – Douthit – that averaged almost 21 points and 13 rebounds per game, but Martines is confident that he will jive with the locals.