Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:15 p.m. – Kia vs Talk ‘N Text
7 p.m. – Blackwater vs NLEX
Talk ‘N Text fights for life today against expansion team Kia as the playoff race intensifies in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Commissioner’s Cup champion Tropang Texters could face the prospect of missing the playoffs for the first time in recent memory if they fail to withstand the dangerous Carnival in the 4:15 p.m. opener.
TNT is currently tied with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel for ninth place at 4-6 after losing five of its last six outings, thus the need to edge Kia to remain in the hunt.
“We need to win and hope that things fall in place,” said Talk ‘N Text Coach Jong Uichico, whose team is coming off a 105-93 loss to defending champion Star last Tuesday.
Kia, which sits in a share of seventh to eighth places with Star, is also in need of a victory to keep the expansion team’s bid to make the playoffs for the first time.
Only the top eight teams after the 11-game elimination round will make the playoffs, with the first to fourth placers earning twice-to-beat incentives.
Already in the playoffs are San Miguel, Alaska, Rain or Shine, Globalport and Barako Bull.
NLEX hopes to stay in playoff contention against also-ran Blackwater in the nightcap at 7 p.m. The Road Warriors have a slim chance of making the next round with a 2-7 record while the Elite are already eliminated after winning just one in nine matches.
TNT will surely treat Kia with respect since the latter has risen into one of the dangerous teams in the league.
Although the Carnival have dropped their last two games to put themselves in danger of missing the playoffs, they have gained the respect of rival teams, particularly the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
ROS beat Kia, 94-90, but not after surviving a string of comebacks by the Carnival in the second half. Painters Coach Yeng Guiao later lauded them for their resiliency and character.