TNT Takes On SMC Today

Defending champion San Mig Coffee is definitely struggling after it dropped its first three games.

But despite their "crisis", Talk 'N Text coach Norman Black won't take the Mixers lightly when they clash today in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

"Expect them to be hungry," said Black as TNT meets San Mig at 6:30 p.m.

Their latest defeat, a 93-65 drubbing at the hands of Rain or Shine - the same team that beat them in the finals of the Governors' Cup last season - was a forgettable one.

Even coach Tim Cone felt sorry for their lackluster performance.

In his Twitter account @manilacone, Cone said: "I want to apologize to all the San Mig Coffee fans for our performance over the last 2 games. You deserve better. We'll turn it around."

ROS coach Yeng Guiao said their win was made a lot easier by the sub-par performance of last year's Best Import winner in Denzel Bowles.

"We didn't know what kind of shape he's in (Bowles), but I think he's still out of shape," said Guiao, who got a team high 16 points from Jervy Cruz, 15 markers from rookie Chris Tiu, and 14 and 11 boards from 7-foot-3 import Bruno Sundov.

Clashing at 4:15 p.m. are Globalport (2-2) and Meralco (1-3), with the Batang Pier hoping to recover from a humiliating loss to the Texters last week while the Bolts will attempt to end a three-game slide after winning their first match.

Talk 'N Text started the conference with a loss but has steadied itself by winning back-to-back games opposite Air21 (86-83) and Globalport (99-79).

Their win over Globalport showed that the Texters are ready for another championship run after ruling the Philippine Cup via a sweep over ROS.

While they made their shots from afar impressively, they demonstrated brilliant defense.

After allowing its first two opponents to average 91 points per game, TNT's defense held Globalport to 30.5 percent shooting (25-of-81). Its defense also limited former player Japeth Aguilar, who averaged 15.6 points and 9.2 rebounds prior to the game, to 4 points and 7 rebounds.

The Mixers came into the game very confident and ready to give Bowles a big welcome party.

But they went home grieving their humiliating loss.

As for Black, more than thinking of what San Mig will do, he said that their focus is on improving on the defensive end as he will rely on import Keith Benson, as well as Jimmy Alapag, Ranidel de Ocampo, Ryan Reyes, Kelly Williams, Jared Dillinger, Jayson Castro and Harvey Carey.

"We just want to continue to improve on our defense, while keeping the game as up tempo as possible," said Black.

Cone will also lean on local mainstays James Yap, PJ Simon, Marc Pingris and Yancy de Ocampo.


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