2015-2016 PHILIPPINE CUP PREVIEW: TALK N TEXT TROPANG TEXTERS vs MAHINDRA ENFORCERS - GET ON THE BOARD

Both Talk N Text and Mahindra endured losses in their first games of the season. TNT lost to Alaska, 114-98, and Mahindra was waylaid by ROS, 108-94. Both clubs are certainly looking to get on the board and book their first wins today.




TNT’s loss to ALA was a little surprising given how the Texters were pegged as title favorites this conference. Having Jayson Castro and this year’s top two draft picks meant the Texters got much deeper and got the help they needed in their frontline. Things didn’t go as planned, though, as ALA shot the lights out from the field to frustrate the Texters.

MAH had a good start to their game against ROS, leading after 1 quarter, but they couldn’t sustain the momentum the rest of the way. The highlight of their game, of course, was Manny Pacquiao’s hitting his first ever PBA field goal. Moving forward, however, the Enforcers surely want more than that to smile about for the season. 

1. BIDANG BLUR: JAYSON CASTRO
- Castro had a good game against ALA, hitting from almost anywhere on the floor. He drove hard and was also able to hit those outside shots. He may have to do much better here, though, since his running-mate, RDO, won’t be around.

Last game: 19pts, 5asts, 1reb, 3 triples, 7/14 FGs.


Jayson Castro will carry a heavier load now that RDO is down.

2. #PrayForRDO: MISSING RANIDEL
- RDO had a very good game against ALA, but a freak accident during weight training has sidelined him long-term. RDO will be missed, of course. He is maybe the league’s top overall PF and does so many things on the floor for TNT. More than that, though, it’s his experience and leadership that will be missed by his teammates.

Last game: 26pts, 15rebs, 3stls, 1ast, 1 triple, 10/22 FGs.
Last season averages: 15.1ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.2apg, 2.1 triples per game


3. MGA BIDANG BAGUHAN NG TNT: TAUTUAA & TROY (T&T)
- Much was said about the talents and size of Tautuaa and Rosario, but their debuts in the PBA left a lot of fans underwhelmed. They combined for just 6pts, 5rebs, and 3 asts in 35 total minutes. With RDO out, these two young bucks will have to grow up fast and be a lot more productive.

Tautuaa last game: 2pts, 2rebs, 3asts, 1/5 FGs.
Rosario last game: 4pts, 3rebs, 2/7 FGs.


Mo Tautuaa needs to step up big.

4. BEATEN ON THE BOARDS
- One thing that hobbled TNT against ALA was the fact that they were beaten on the boards. Despite being a little smaller, ALA outrebounded TNT, 53-44, with Vic Manuel, Chris Banchero, Sonny Thoss, and Calvin Abueva all grabbing at least 5 rebounds. TNT cannot allow that here, especially since they have a significant size advantage over MAH.

Last game: ALA 53 rebs, TNT 44 rebs
RDO & Carey - 26rebs
Rest of TNT - 18rebs


5. BIDA NG 3X3: KARL DEHESA
- Dehesa looks to have improved a lot since joining the country’s 3x3 team. He has displayed a boost in confidence and seems to have emerged as one of this team’s leaders. He had a good game vs ROS, and is expected to be a reliable contributor as the season wears on.

Last game: 20pts, 3rebs, 1ast, 1stl, 4 triples


6. THE STRETCH TWINS: ALDRECH RAMOS & KG CANALETA
- New acquisitions Ramos and Canaleta immediately paid dividends for MAH in their first game. Ramos, in particular, was all kinds of awesome, hitting threes, blocking shots, and basically affecting the game on both ends of the floor. KG, meanwhile, was also efficient, putting up double-figure scoring in just 20 minutes of play. With their capability to score from long range, these two guys can effectively stretch opposing defenses, hence the nickname.

Aldrech last game: 14pts, 7rebs, 1ast, 4 blks, 2 triples.
KG last game: 11pts, 3rebs, 5/9 FGs.


Aldrech Ramos has a chance to be a star with Mahindra.

7. SMALL BUT TERRIBLE: LA REVILLA
- Revilla continues to play bigger than his size for MAH. He was very effective against ROS, scoring, making plays, and even rebounding. He will have his hands full here against Jayson Castro, but he cannot be underestimated by the Texters.

Last game: 14pts, 5rebs, 7asts, 4stls, 1 triple, 5/9 FGs.


LA Revilla continues to be a consistently productive player for Mahindra.

8. FREE THROW WOES
- MAH could have stayed with ROS a little more in their last game had they been able to hit their free throws. Instead, the Enforcers missed nearly half of their charity shots. That’s certainly something they can ill afford to do against TNT. 

Last game FTs:
Revilla: 3/5
Canaleta: 1/4
TEAM: 13/22 (59.1%)


9. BANGGAAN NG MGA BIDANG BIG MEN: TAUTUAA VS GUINTO
- Mo Tautuaa needs to really step up big time for TNT especially because of RDO’s absence. His debut wasn’t very good, but since he is expected to get more touches here, his production should go up. Guinto, meanwhile, was surprisingly very good for MAH in his first PBA game, recording a near double-double in only 20 minutes. If he can duplicate that here, then Mo will have his hands full. 

Tautuaa (1st pick) last game: 2pts, 2rebs, 3asts, 1/5 FGs.
Guinto (14th pick) last game: 11pts, 9rebs, 1ast, 4/6 FGs.


All images are by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports5.



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