Texters face Bolts, Aces battle MixersCebu Daily News
5:15 p.m.- Meralco vs. Talk ‘N Text
7:30 p.m.- San Mig Coffee vs. Alaska
THE TALK ’N TEXT Tropang Texters start their title-retention bid against sister-team Meralco Bolts while title favorites San Mig Coffee Mixers (formerly B-Meg Llamados) tangle with the Alaska Aces in today’s double-header of the newly opened 38th PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Talk ’N Text is the only team that didn’t tweak its lineup in the off-season, parading the same players that helped the team win back-to-back Philippine Cup titles. Winning last season’s Philippine Cup crown made the Texters the first team in 27 years to snatch two straight All-Filipino Cup crowns.
While its lineup remained intact, the Texters had a coaching revamp, replacing Chot Reyes with American coach Norman Black. Reyes has been named the national team coach.
The Bolts will be starting life without center Asi Taulava, who refused to renew his contract with the team and joined the San Miguel Beermen in the Asian Basketball League.
Solomon Mercado and Mac Cardona will remain the Bolts’ main offensive weapons and will likely get support from new acquisition Ronjay Buenafe and 6-foot-5 rookie Cliff Hodge.
Meanwhile, the Aces’ retooled lineup will be put to test against the solid Coffee Mixers.
Aside from hiring two new assistant coaches in Louie Alas and Alex Compton, the Luigi Trillo-mentored Aces also brought six new players.
The Aces traded away wily point guard LA Tenorio but got Jvee Casio and Dondon Hontiveros in return. Alaska also signed veteran players Nic Belasco and Eddie Laure and will also have rookies Raphy Reyes and Calvin Abueva, the second overall pick in the rookie draft. Abueva won’t be able to join Alaska until late October as he has still commitments with the San Sebastian Stags in the NCAA./EDITORIAL ASSISTANT CALVIN D. CORDOVA