IT WON’T be the hulking Joshua Smith, but Mike Myers who will suit up for Talk ‘N Text when the Texters and the San Miguel Beermen open their titular series tomorrow at the Araneta Coliseum.
This was learned from TNT manager Virgil Villavicencio, who said that the chances of the Texters playing with a new import is almost certain following the injury sustained by Smith during the team’s semifinal series against Ginebra last week.
Speaking before sportswriters during the Finals press conference at Sambokojin Eastwood, Villavicencio said Smith was scheduled for a doctor’s appointment yesterday afternoon to have his torn ligament in his right foot examined.
“It will depend on the doctor today,” Villavicencio said “Then it will also depend on him if he’ll be able to manage the pain.”
“But definitely, he cannot play the whole series, because he needs that rest,” he was quick to add.
Asked if Myers will fill in the void, Villavicencio said: “Tingin ko, si Myers na,” Villavicencio admitted.
“Feeling ko, baka Game One pa lang.”
During the press con, Smith was still present and seated beside his teammates, offering a glimmer of hope that he can still suit up, saying he’s “taking it day by day,” although Myers was also in attendance in the press launch.
“We want to be fair, because there is also a request (by some of the players) to give him (Smith) one more game,” Villavicencio admitted.
TNT has until noon today to inform the league about its import choice for the finals opener.
Once the import change pushes through, Myers will be the Texters’ fifth import in the conference alone after Denzel Bowles, Lou Amundson, Donte Greene, and Smith.
“Parang (Charles) Rhodes na may poste,” Villavicencio said of his description of the 6-foot-8 Myers, believing he will ably fill the shoes to be left by Smith.
“Si Myers, matchup kay Rhodes. Si Kelly (Williams) can match up with June Mar (Fajardo),” Villavicencio said.JAYSON Castro dished off import-like numbers in a game TNT just refused to lose to secure the Katropa’s return stint to the PBA Finals for the first time in two seasons.
With bulky TNT import Joshua Smith playing through a torn ligament on his right foot, the 5-8 Castro took charge on Saturday, firing 38 points, dishing off 11 assists and grabbing 7 rebounds to eliminate Barangay Ginebra, 122-109 and complete a 3-1 semifinal series win in the process.
The 30-year-old Castro was at his best in the fourth period when he knocked down 10 of his team’s 17 points down the stretch to break the hearts of the Kings and their legion of fans.
More importantly, the win sealed TNT’s entry in the mid-season conference Finals where it is set to face San Miguel Beer starting Wednesday.
The “Blur’s” awe-inspiring effort earned him the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of June 13-18, nosing out San Miguel veterans June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross for the weekly citation.
The Katropa are back in the championship round and will try to end a two-year title drought, having won their last PBA crown in the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup behind flamboyant import Ivan Johnson.