#PBA2015 Roster Review: The Talk N Text Tropang Texters

With the 2014-2015 PBA season’s official rosters released, I found it only logical to look at each line-up and see where each team stands. In this series of posts, I’ll be breaking down each team’s bigs, wings, and floor generals while also looking at what kind of damage they’ll do this season.
Let’s look at roster of the Talk N Text Tropang Texters.

Have the Tropang Texters left their best behind them?

Overall 2013-2014 Record: 33 wins and 16 losses.

Best Finish: Finals in the 2014 Commissioner’s Cup.

BIGS: Jay Washington, Harvey Carey, Kelly Williams, Rob Reyes, Ranidel De Ocampo, Danny Seigle
- Here’s the thing -- Rob Reyes is the only natural center on this roster. J-Wash, Kelly, and RDO are all All-Star level bigs, but they’re all power forwards, too. They’ve all got the size to play the slot in this league, but none of them are really bona fide middle-men. This presents a problem, of course, as they’ll have trouble against the Asi Taulavas and June Mar Fajardos of the PBA. Case in point? Opposing star centers (Greg Slaughter, Taulava, and Sonny Thoss) have so far averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds against TNT.  

Kelly Williams leads an aging core of frontliners for TNT.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports5)

- Other pressing problems here are that the undersized Harvey Carey is already 35 years old and that Danny Seigle, who’s nearing 40, is playing way out of position. This same frontline pretty much made it as far as the Finals in the Commish Cup last season, but remember that they actually had a natural center in Richard Howell. Without any semblance of that this season, the Texters are looking to struggle mightily.

WINGS: Ryan Reyes, Larry Fonacier, Matt Rosser, Elmer Espiritu, Aaron Aban
- Ryan Reyes is the epitome of a big guard, Larry Fonacier is as streaky as they come, and Matt Rosser has the makings of the next Gabe Norwood. In short, this wing combination should provide the Texters with a lot of depth. Reyes, in particular, has blossomed at the start of this season, averaging around 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals while also shooting 53% from the field, 64% from downtown, and making more than 2 treys per outing. Look for him to continue improving as the season goes by.

- Rosser is a promising prospect, too. Already, the rookie has already proven to be one of TNT’s top weapons. The former Sinag Pilipinas and Gilas player is putting up around 10 points, 5 boards, 3 assists, and 1 rejection per game. Great numbers, yes, but one chink in his armor is the fact that he’s shooting just 47% from the stripe. If Rosser is to meet his potential, that’s one aspect of his game he’ll definitely need to improve.

Matt Rosser is a potential team cornerstone for the future.
(image by Paul Mata/Sports5)

FLOOR GENERALS: Jimmy Alapag, Kevin Alas, Rob Labagala, Eric Salamat, Jayson Castro
- Jayson Castro has been on-point so far, scoring 15 points, handing out 6 assists, and collaring 4 rebounds per game. The best point guard in Asia is still playing at quite a high level, but he’ll probably need to score a bit more for TNT to climb out of its recent 1-2 hole. This is especially true while Jimmy Alapag is still in the reserve list.

- In the wake of Alapag’s absence, though, I find it pleasant that rookie Kevin Alas has been playing beyond expectations. In just under 17 minutes per game, the former Letran Knight is averaging 10 points and nearly 2 triples per outing. He has connected on 50% of his threes and 75% of his freebies. Those are great numbers, and TNT Nation can only hope he becomes consistent as this once mighty franchise struggles through the winds of change.

Final Word: Transition
- Gone are the days when opposing players trembled in fear at the sight of the Talk N Text Tropang Texters. With an aging core, the departure of Norman Black, and the lack of a true solid center, TNT is, to put it bluntly, in a state of flux. If current coach Jong Uichico stands any chance to relive this team’s glory days, then either his grizzled veterans will have to turn back time or management will have to pull off some deals.

Jayson Castro needs to be at his very best in every game for the Texters to stand a chance.
(image by Paul Mata/Sports5)

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