Top draft selections Moala Tautuaa and Troy Rosario make their much-awaited pro debut as Talk n Text tangles with Alaska Milk in Day Two of the 2015-16 Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Tropang Texters and the Aces face off at 7 p.m. in an exciting match pitting two teams that are among those considered title contenders in PBA Season 41.
Talk n Text is winner of the Commissioner’s Cup championship while Alaska is twice losing finalist last season.
Definitely making the TnT champion roster more formidable is the addition of Tautuaa and Rosario, prized draft selections with recent stint with the Gilas training pool.
Dylan Ababou, Dennis Miranda and Larry Rodriguez are trade acquisitions also beefing up the TnT roster with old mainstays in Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, Kelly Williams, Harvey Carey, Ryan Reyes, Larry Fonacier, Matt Ganuelas Rosser, Danny Seigle and Aaron Aban.
Relegated to the reserve list is Chris Sumalinog.
Alaska coach Alex Compton, meanwhile, opted not to tinker with his lineup, coming from a solid season where they took runner-up honors in the Philippine Cup and in the Governors Cup.
The team is bringing back Chris Banchero, Cyrus Baguio, Vic Manuel, Sonny Thoss, Calvin Abueva, Noy Baclao, Rome dela Rosa, Chris Exciminiano, Dondon Hontiveros, Eric Menk, RJ Jazul, Tony dela Cruz, Jvee casio and Sam Eman.
But they may insert Kevin Racal in the lineup upon the completion of his tenure with the Letran Knights in the NCAA.
Marion Magat, Alaska’s second pick from the draft, is in the reserve list.
It’s a duel between teams with the most number of contributions to the national team in the last FIBA Asia Championship in Changsha, China.
Compton and Jong Uichico will be back as protagonists after working closely together as coach Tab Baldwin’s chief assistants with Gilas Pilipinas.
Castro, De Ocampo and Rosser will also have their tiffs on the floor with Gilas teammates Abueva, Hontiveros and Thoss.
Much attention, however, may be on Tautuaa and Rosario.
“Yes, they’re good, but they’re still adjusting to PBA play,” said Uichico. (SB)