The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters definitely did not want to begin their new era with a loss like this one. Going up against the Alaska Aces, the 1st Runner-Up of the previous Philippine Cup, it was clear that Talk ‘N Text was a step behind them throughout the entire game. The Aces, with their core from previous conferences intact, thrashed the newly formed roster of the Tropang Texters and won by a big 16-point margin, 114-98.
Still Breaking The Ice
It was likewise a disappointing start to the season for the top 2 picks of the 2015 PBA Draft. Moala Tautuaa and Troy Rosario combined for just 5 rebounds and 6 points on 3/12 shooting for the Tropang Texters, which is well below the production the team is expecting from them.
The poor performance of the two rookies, as well as the other newcomers, made it evident that there was a lack of team chemistry on the Talk ‘N Text side. This was seen especially at points in the game where guys like Jayson Castro and Ranidel De Ocampo had to create shots for themselves, instead of getting them within the flow of the offense. Credit the Alaska defense as well for pouncing on this opportunity, as they held Talk ‘N Text to a disappointing 35/90 (38.9% FG) shooting from the field.
The burden of the production for Talk ‘N Text has definitely fallen on the shoulders of their mainstays, as only three players on their team scored in double figures. They were De Ocampo (26 points), Castro (19 points), and Larry Fonacier (15 points). Alaska on the other hand had five players in double figures. In addition, three of these five Alaska players came off the bench for them.
In fact, the Talk ‘N Text bench was outscored by 40 points (30-70), so it’s obvious that if Talk ‘N Text wants to win games, they’re going to have to get more support from the rest of their roster. Although they do have great go-to players, it always takes a team effort to win games.
The Best Defense, Is Still Playing Good Defense
Finally, no matter how well a team is able to score the basketball, they’re still going to have trouble winning games if they can’t prevent the other team from scoring as well. Talk ‘N Text allowed Alaska to score 114 points, and shoot with 57.0 eFG%. That is a definite recipe for disaster. Defense has been a recurring problem for the Tropang Texters dating back to the previous conferences and it looks like it will still haunt them. Specifically, teams are able to score at will inside the paint against this team, as seen in 70 of Alaska’s 86 field goal attempts being taken inside the arc.
At least on the bright side, Talk ‘N Text showed us that they are still the deadliest team from the 3-point line, as they made 11 3PT FGs in this game. The re-emergence of veteran guard Ryan Reyes (3/4 3PT FGs) is also a big plus for this team, and is definitely a good sign for them moving forward.