PBA preview: Talk’N Text Tropang Texters

Levi Verora
Can the Talk'N Text Tropang Texters stay healthy to defend their Philippine Cup title?

FOUR STRAIGHT? Talk'N Text will try to do the unimaginable and capture a fourth straight Philippine Cup title. Photo by Nuki Sabio/PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A new Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) season kicks off on Sunday, November 17. Anticipation is high especially with the influx of young talent that came via the PBA draft

Who are the teams and players to watch out for? Rappler gives you a preview of each team and how we expect them to fare in the All-Filipino Conference.


Philippine Cup recap

Talk’N Text continued their dominance as the best PBA squad in the Philippine Cup after 3 consecutive championships in the league’s opening conference. They romped to a 12-2 slate at the end of the eliminations to be the top seed. The Texters ousted Air21 Express in the quarterfinals before squeezing out a 4-2 semifinal win over the Alaska Aces. In the championship, Tropang Texters did not see any challenge from the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters which they swept. Ranidel De Ocampo was named Finals MVP while Jayson Castro took home the Best Player of the Conference plum.

Projected starters

Ali Peek
Ranidel De Ocampo
Larry Fonacier
Jimmy Alapag
Ryan Reyes


Kelly Williams
Sean Anthony
Rob Reyes
Nonoy Baclao
Jayson Castro
Aaron Aban
Jai Reyes
Harvey Carey
Rich Alvarez
Eliud Poligrates
John Ferriols
Robby Celiz

Coaching staff

Head coach: Norman Black
Assistants: Josh Reyes, Jamike Jarin, Sandy Arespacochaga, Nash Racela, Gene Afable


Tropang Texters had a training camp in the US to prepare for their title defense. Recovering from injury and a blood disorder are Ryan Reyes and Kelly Williams, respectively. Both are players in their championship runs every year. They arguably have Asia’s best guards in Jimmy Alapag and Jayson Castro, while Gilas Pilipinas standouts Larry Fonacier and Ranidel De Ocampo make them very dangerous.


The Texters have a small frontline. Sean Anthony and Ali Peek are both 6’4″, while Poy Erram and Nonoy Baclao are smaller compared to the rest of PBA’s big men. TNT also lacks some offensive options. Jared Dillinger was traded to the Meralco Bolts while Ryan Reyes and Kelly Williams are still recovering. Returning to their top form is a question.

De Ocampo is expected to make up for this as he averaged 12.66 points and 6.32 rebounds last season. Guards Castro, Alapag, and Fonacier should also boost scoring as they teamed up for close to 35 points a game last Philippine Cup.


Athletic forward Sean Anthony can play both the 3 and 4 spots and he has a decent touch from the outside. Anthony almost takes the place of Dillinger as the Texters’ versatile forward. He is expected to work hard to get rebounds and dive for loose balls.

Will the Texters be healthy enough to seal a 4-peat?

Many TNT players have been injured throughout last season. Castro and De Ocampo played hurt for Gilas Pilipinas, while Ryan Reyes and Kelly Williams are not in top form yet. How much is left in their tank?

Philippine Cup forecast

The Texters will still make it to the playoffs but it won’t be a surprise if they get dethroned at an early stage. – Rappler.com

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