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V-Day for Victory Day for GlobalPort, T'NT



By John Bryan Ulanday

No Valentine's Day love will be shown as Talk 'N Text and Globalport fight for dear lives as they clash today in Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Action begins at 7pm with both the KaTropa (4-5) and Batang Pier (3-4) looking to hang on in their stay in the top eight and avoid elimination entering the tailend of the eliminations.
Phoenix Petroleum (4-4) likewise eyes to bolster its playoff chance against a skidding Meralco side (2-6) in the first game at 4:30 pm.
Once a constant force in the league, the KaTropa suddenly found themselves on the brink of elimination after incurring crucial losses to Phoenix, 72-74, and Barangay Ginebra, 78-93 last week.
A loss to Globalport would push them outside of the playoff picture with the streaking NLEX remaining in their schedule.
"We just need to break the losing streak. We just have to find ways to win the next one," Racela lamented.
"We don’t really have a choice but focus on the next game. You can’t really think about pressure or panic. Hopefully we win the next one and it changes (our chances)."
One factor for TNT's sudden slide is versatile big man Troy Rosario's absence after a scary fall in their loss to Phoenix last Wednesday.
Unfortunately for the KaTropa, they might be forced to survive this homestretch without Rosario who has yet to receive a green light to play.
Coming off a 98-105 overtime loss to Alaska, the Batang Pier attempts for a huge upset against TNT to sneak inside the top eight behind leaders Stanley Pringle and Sean Anthony.
Currently sitting at ninth place, a Batang Pier victory would push them to eight spot, overtaking TNT heading into their crucial three-game elimination homestretch against Magnolia, KIA and Phoenix.
Meanwhile, Globalport tapped free agent Jeric Teng for the rest of the Philippine Cup, paving the way for his reunion with college coach Pido Jarecio.
Meanwhile, PBA All-Star balloting formally opens simultaneously through online and at the various playing venue on Friday.
Voting will briefly end after the semifinals of the Philippine Cup, but will resume thereafter through the first week of the elimination round of the Commissioner’s Cup.
The mid-season classic goes island-hopping again this year with Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao hosting a leg each from May 23 to 27.
This marks the second straight time the league will tour around Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao for the All-Star week following the tremendous success of the same formula adopted last year when Gilas Pilipinas battled three All-Star teams, each parading players representing the three major islands in the country.
The national team, then preparing for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship and the FIBA Asia Cup, drew with the Mindanao All-Stars, before winning the leg against the Luzon and Visayas All-Stars.
The side events such as the slam dunk, three-point shootout, and the obstacle challenge were all held in the Luzon leg.



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