Manila, Philippines – Fresh from huge wins the other day, Rain or Shine and Globalport ride that momentum when they clash today in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Game time is at 3 p.m. preceding the 5:15 p.m. encounter between Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and defending champion Talk ’ N Text.
Ginebra and Talk ’N Text are tied at third and fourth spots with similar 3-1 cards, although the Kings dropped their last game, a 100-87 shocker against Meralco, while the Tropang Texters have won two in a row, beating Alaska in overtime (114-111) and Globalport (106-93) last week.
Rain or Shine is coming off a sensational 86-83 victory over San Mig Coffee Friday night where Paul Lee, the 2012 Rookie of the Year, fired a career-best 26 points, including 11 in the fourth period on 10-of-15 shooting.
It was the Elasto Painters’ second straight win as they improved to 4-1 to take solo second place behind idle Petron Blaze (4-0).
On the other hand, Globalport wore down Meralco in posting a 93-89 victory that snapped a two-game skid and improved to 2-3 as the Batang Pier tied the Bolts and the Alaska Aces for sixth to eighth places.
Point guard Sol Mercado finished with a game-high 33 points while veteran forward Jay Washington came through with a double-double 27 points and 10 rebounds. Rookie RR Garcia finished with 12 points, including two clutch triples in the last four minutes.
It will be an interesting matchup between the backcourts of Rain or Shine and Globalport led by Mercado and Lee, no doubt two of the best playmakers in the league. The Painters also have Jeff Chan, Chris Tiu, TY Tang, Ryan Arana and rookie Jeric Teng, while the Batang Pier will have Rudy Lingganay as well as Garcia and fellow rookie Terrence Romeo.
Mercado played almost two seasons for the Painters but was traded to Meralco for a draft pick, which Rain or Shine used back in 2011 to select the 5-foot-11 Lee with the second overall pick.
Rain or Shine relied on Lee’s endgame heroics against San Mig as he turned hot in the final frame. He punctuated his explosion with three 3-pointers, including a shot-clock beating banked shot from beyond the arc with four minutes to play.
“We played sloppy in the end game against San Mig. But the biggest shot was Paul’s three-pointer on the backboard. That was our biggest break. We were just lucky to get away with the win,” Rain or Shine mentor Yeng Guiao said.
Globalport will be eyeing its first back-to-back win and interim coach Richie Ticzon said they have to play solid defense like they did against Meralco. (Waylon Galvez)