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2014-15 Talk n Text Tropang Texters Primer



2013-14 Standings:

Philippine Cup864thLost to Mixers 2-1 in the best-of-3 quarterfinals
Commissioner’s Cup901stDefeated Barangay in the quarterfinals (had twice-to-beat advantage)Defeated Painters 3-0 in the semifinals

Lost to the Mixers 3-1 in the finals

Governor’s Cup721stDefeated Energy in the quarterfinals (had twice-to-beat advantage)Lost to the Mixers 3-2 in the semifinals


2013-14 Team Leaders
PPGJayson Castro16.78
APGJimmy Alapag4.50
RPGRanidel de Ocampo6.57
BPGNonoy Baclao0.80
SPGJayson Castro0.88

Players Lost:
Jai Reyes (Free agent), Nonoy Baclao (trade), Nino Canaleta (trade)
Players Added: Matthew Ganuelas-Rosser (trade aka magic), Kevin Alas (trade aka magic) and Jay Washington (trade)

2014 Projected Depth Chart

CKelly WilliamsJay WashingtonRob Reyes
FRanidel de OcampoHarvey CareyDanny Seigle
FLarry FonacierElmer EspirituAaron Aban
GRyan ReyesMatt Rosser
GJayson CastroJimmy AlapagKevin Alas


The Bandwagon Wire Says

The Tropang Texters, ever since the fall of the Realtors a few years back, has been a staple in the PBA playoffs for each conference every year. They used to be a symbol of consistency and discipline under the guidance of National Team head coach Chot Reyes. However, with the focus turned to the amazing run the men’s basketball national team had over the last couple of years, in which the majority of roster of the Tropang Texters are a part of, the franchise would only have two deep playoff runs in that period.

Two years off, the average age of the top 6 players in this team is 31.66 years old. In the cycle of a basketball franchise, there is a time where the owner says, we have to rebuild for this franchise to have a future (this is something that we actually think that Boss MVP would say).

So what does the Tropang Texters management do? Instead of trading away the stars that brought them to glory, they magically acquired, arguably, two of the top 4 picks in the draft! This is what we call a Slow Burn Rebuild.

Kevin Alas and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser

Kevin Alas and Matthew Rosser, prior to entering the PBA draft, were members of the men’s basketball national team cadet program. They competed overseas, including dominating the Southeast Asian Games basketball tournament for two straight years. During the PBA Developmental League season, both played together in a stacked NLEX Road Warriors team (that team was technically a hybrid of the Cadet Pool-Red Cubs-Blue Eagles).

Kevin Alas is a sharp-shooting combo guard. Ever since his grade school days, playing in the PAYA league, the kid has been hyped as one of the smartest players to enter the hard court. His court IQ is said to be years beyond his age. In college, Alas led the Letran Knights to the finals but would eventually succumb to the San Beda Red Lions. With an option to go into a 5th year in college or enter the pros, Alas decided to leave college and focus on the National Team program (just like JVee Casio, Chris Tiu, and Mark Barroca a few years back).

Matthew Ganuelas-Rosser was brought into the country as, supposedly, to be part of the national team program (just like Chris Lutz and Marcio Lassiter). For two years, Rosser played in the D-League and represented the country in the SEA Games and the Jones Cup. Watching Rosser play is like watching a young Gabe Norwood. He is an excellent perimeter defender and a good ball handler.

Alas and Rosser in someway magically ended up being on an MVP team. The Tropang Texters are fortunate to land these two, as they, together with Jason Castro, can be the faces of the franchise for years to come. Kevin Alas, moreover, is blessed to have the soon-to-be retiring Jimmy Alapag as his mentor.

Stacked line-up

The Tropang Texters is a team filled with specialists. If we re-do the depth chart and plug-in the specialization of each player, here is how the depth chart would look like.

CAthletic BigStretch FiveEnergy Guy
FStretch FourTenacious RebounderSlasher
F3 and DCorner SpecialistPerimeter Defender
GLockdown DefenderPoint Forward
GAcrobat FinisherMicrowaveCombo Guard

The shot chart for this team would be crazy (watch-out for it in a future edition of Gil Lopez’s SDL). The national team boys are back and well rested. In addition, the team was able to land a gifted big man in Jay Washington. This team looks scary on paper.

The only problem we see here is whether Coach Jong Uichico could provide the right system and minute distribution for such a line-up. But with the wealth of championship experience Coach Uichico has, we think he could handle this team just like how Coach Reyes and Coach Black did before him.

2014-15 Philippine Cup Prediction

The only problem the Tropang Texters would have will be against the SMC teams. The Beermen, the Barangay, and the Hotshots all have tenacious rebounders and excellent rim protectors in their line-ups. Nonetheless, the Tropang Texters have excellent perimeter players to set-off their post deficiencies. If all goes well we at the wire predict that…
Our prediction: 1st place end of elimination round, Finals

 2014-15 PBA Philippine Cup Primers

TBT - PBA - Alaska Aces-01TBT - PBA - Barako Bull-01
TBT - PBA - Ginebra Gin Kings-01TBT - PBA - Global Port Batang Pier-01
TBT - PBA - Meralco Bolts-01TBT - PBA - NLEX Roadwarriors-01
TBT - PBA - Purefoods Hotshots-01TBT - PBA - Rain or Shine Elasto Painters-01
TBT - PBA - San Miguel Beermen-01TBT - PBA - Talk N Text Tropang Texters-01
TBT - PBA - Blackwater Elite & Kia Sorrento-01
1 Comment
  • Bruno Yanquiling

    Ganuelas-Rosser is 4th pick overall. Our prediction: 1st place end of elimination round, Finals. Ah, ah, ah…

Mixed Martial Arts

Rene Catalan continues rampage with TKO win



Rene Catalan continues to turn critics into believers

Filipino fighter Rene Catalan made his sixth appearance inside the ONE Championship cage at ONE: Kings of Courage, held at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia, Saturday evening. He faced 21-year-old Chinese athlete Peng Xue Wen in the opening main card bout, and leaned on his elite wushu skills to stop the young star at the 4:22 mark of the second round.

The victory improves Catalan’s record to 4-2 (1 NC), extends his winning streak to four, and gives him the first TKO stoppage of his martial arts career, as he bids to climb the strawweight ladder in search of the ONE Strawweight World Championship.

“The Challenger” came out in the southpaw stance to open the bout, throwing big hooks and a head kick that narrowly missed as he established the center of the cage from the start of the contest.

The Filipino landed a host of powerful strikes, including a perfectly-placed uppercut and a melee of punishing leg kicks, but Peng’s conditioning and composure kept him in the match as he looked to stand and trade with the man 18 years his elder.

Catalan picked up where he left off when the bout resumed in the second round, this time operating out of the orthodox stance, landing more leg kicks and continuing to deny Peng any space to work.

Despite his dominance on the feet, there was a brief moment of concern for the Filipino on the mat when he jumped into the Chinese wrestler’s guard mid-way through the second round, and immediately found himself in a triangle choke. But the Filipino kept his composure and managed to work himself free.

Once the fighters returned to their feet, Catalan poured on the pressure in search of a finish, and he got it with just 38 seconds remaining in the stanza.

“The Challenger” scored big with a liver shot, then unloaded a fierce flurry of punches that forced Peng onto his back foot. Another shot forced Peng to the mat, where a salvo of ground and pound from Catalan eventually forced the TKO stoppage as referee Olivier Coste stepped in to halt the contest.

Photo, story, and video from ONE Championship

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Gelo Alolino regrets Phoenix’s failure to close out Hotshots



Photo by PBA Images

Gelo Alolino had his best game for the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome with 19 points, eclipsing his previous career-high of 16 markers which he made last May 21, 2017 in a loss to the Mahindra Floodbuster.

But his achievement won’t be too memorable, as it went for naught following a 91-97 defeat at the hands of Paul Lee and the Magnolia Hotshots, who have now collected their third straight victory.

For the second overall pick in the regular 2016 Rookie Draft, it was all because of their failure to sustain momentum up until the game’s final buzzer.

“Sayang, nandun na. We felt na sa amin na nung dulo kaso lang ganun talaga,” rued the 24-year-old sophomore after the match, where he shot an excellent 7-of-10 from the floor.

“Breaks of the game napunta sa kabila.”

Phoenix were in contention all throughout the match. In fact, they were even ahead, 89-84, with just three minutes left to play. But the Hotshots’ comeback skills were unleashed, leading to the narrow win.

“Siyempre kami lahat nasayangan. Maganda naman yung team effort talaga namin,” admitted the 6-foot floor general of their end-game collapse, which wasted their efforts in assists (21) and on defense, where they forced Magnolia to 21 turnovers.

“Kami as players talagang gusto namin bumawi coming from a loss last game sa Rain or Shine.

The Fuel Masters have now lost their second straight outing and have dropped to 2-3. And for Alolino, all they have to do is learn as much as they can from this loss, especially now that they are about to face the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel next.

“Yun nga. Medyo masakit para sa’min ‘to,” admitted the National University product.

“All we have to do is magviview ulit kami ng tape para makita kung saan kami mas pwede mag-improve as a team and bawat isa — including me.”

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Glenn Khobuntin repays Ricky Dandan’s trust with end-game heroics



FILE Photo from PBA Images

Glenn Khobuntin can finally say that he had himself a moment in the pro ranks

The National University alumnus proved his worth for the Kia Picanto, scoring his team’s final six points to steer the often-ridiculed club to their first win after a historic 16-game skid, at the expense of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 98-94.

“I knew he would. I knew he would,” lauded Kia head coach Ricky Dandan of the takeover by the six-foot-four forward.

“It was a blessing he didn’t play for the first two quarters because he [came in] fresh at gigil na gigil.”

Khobuntin finished with 11 markers on 5-of-7 shooting — the best game he’s had so far, not because of the numbers he posted but with the way he made them. But the three-year pro does not want to take the spotlight all onto himself.

“Hindi lang din naman ako e, kami ding lahat e,” the 26-year-old shared. “Siguro kumbaga nagka-opportunity lang, napunta sa akin yung bola kasi yun yung nasa scheme ng play so ayun.

“Thankful lang ako na-hit ko yung mga na-design na plays.”

However, the third-year pro admitted that he had been frightened during the game’s final stretch, as Rain or Shine managed to impose a serious threat by coming back from a seven-point deficit, 94-96, with just less than 22 ticks left to play.

“Kinakabahan ako kasi two minutes pa rin yun e tapos Rain or Shine yung kalaban namin,” the native of Cagayan de Oro said. “Nakita ko nakakabalik sila. Thankful lang naman ako na yung game napunta sa amin, at least natapos yung losing streak namin.”

But more than the end of their months-long slump, what Khobuntin is grateful for is the trust given to him by Dandan, who fielded him as a starter in the second half after sitting out the entirety of the first 24 minutes.

“Nag-decide siya na ako yung i-start niya so thankful ako kasi nagtiwala siya sa akin.”

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Justin Brownlee, Alab lock down Knights for fifth win



Paying a visit to Indonesia for the first time this season, Tanduay Alab Pilipinas needed time to figure the CLS Knights out before stifling the hosts in the final frame to take a 92-87 road win, Saturday evening at the GOR CLS Kertajaya in Indonesia.

This is Alab’s second straight win after losing to the Singapore Slingers last January 10.

With the win, the Philippine-based club team lifts its slate to 5-4 for solo fourth. CLS, on the other hand, dropped to 1-7 — just half a game ahead of the cellar-dwelling Formosa Dreamers.

Justin Brownlee displayed his all-around brilliance in the game, leading Alab with 36 points on 15-for-24 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.

But Alab’s bench could not sustain the effort of the starters, which meant the team was clinging to a two-point lead with 7:06 remaining.

Needing a spark, 40-year-old sniper Dondon Hontiveros provided for Alab, knocking down a triple that proved to be the starting point 14-2 Alab run. A jumper by Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. with 2:57 left capped the rally and gave Alab an 87-73 lead.

Hontiveros scored five of the eight Alab bench points. Fortunately for Alab, Renaldo Balkman and Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. were on point. The former tallying a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Alab’s skipper had 14 points, four assists, two rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.

Coach Jimmy Alapag fielded his bench afterwards, but they let the quintet of Brian Williams, Mario Wuysang, Arif Hidayat, Decorey Jones, and Sandy Kurniawan slice the lead to as low as four points. Then free throws by Oping Sumalinog with eight ticks left put CLS away for good.

Williams paced CLS with 22 points and 14 rebounds while Kurniawan added 19 markers. Indonesian legend Wuysang had 17 points and six rebounds in the loss.

Alab ends its road trip on Sunday, January 28, when it takes on the Saigon Heat at the CIS Arena in Ho Chi Minh City.

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