Severely crippled, leader Talk ‘N Text remains slightly favored over doormat Shopinas.com even as Powerade attempts to break a free fall in the PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Their rotation shortened to just seven men, the Texters will count on Japeth Aguilar, Kelly Williams, Jared Dillinger, Jason Castro, and a trio of bench players, to extend their winning roll to five.
“We’re not crippled. We’re severely crippled,” said TNT coach Chot Reyes.
The Texters battle the 0-9 Clickers at 5:15 p.m. while the Powerade Tigers and the Meralco Bolts collide at 7:30.
Power forwards Harvey Carey and Ranidel De Ocampo are still recovering from injuries while Ryan Reyes recently joined Jimmy Alapag, Rich Alvarez and Aaron Aban in TNT’s orthopedic wing after suffering an MCL tear.
Ali Peek is also out following a near-fatal shooting last week that left a bullet embedded at the base of his skull.
Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra is looking to acquire forwards Rico Maierhofer and Allein Maliksi in a three-way trade.
Center Yancy De Ocampo has been shipped by Ginebra to Barako Bull for the 6-foot-3 Maliksi, the eighth rookie pick.
The Energy then used the 6-foot-9 De Ocampo as trade bait for B-Meg’s Maierhofer, whom Barako later swapped for guard Jimbo Aquino along with Ginebra’s 2014 and 2015 second-round picks.