Games Today (Smart Araneta)
3 p.m. – Ginebra vs Globalport
5:15 p.m. – Purefoods vs Rain or Shine
Manila, Philippines – Almost five months after Purefoods, then known as San Mig Super Coffee, became the PBA’s fifth Grand Slam champion at the expense of Rain or Shine, the two teams meet again today in a rematch of attrition in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
San Mig has since been rechristened Purefoods and the Hotshots are now in pursuit of their fifth straight title that would bring them closer to the long-standing record of six consecutive crowns forged by the legendary Crispa Redmanizers back in the ‘70s.
They started sluggishly but have roared back to life and will be going to the 5:15 game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on the crest of a four-game winning streak and a 5-3 win-loss record.
Rain or Shine stands in the way however.
The Elasto Painters, at present, are at solo third behind leaders Alaska and San Miguel Beer and have the strongest chance of challenging the Aces and the Beermen for outright berths to the semifinals.
Denying Purefoods every which way it can could be a far stronger motivation for Rain or Shine however.
The Elasto Painters bowed to the Mixers, 92-89, in Game 5 of last season’s Governors Cup Finals, marking the second time Rain or Shine lost to San Mig in a championship series that year. San Mig took the Philippine Cup title earlier by beating ROS, 4-2, in a best-of-7 affair.
Meanwhile, in the first game at 3 p.m., Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (5-3) hopes to snap a two-game losing slide when it faces Globalport, which has also dropped its last two outings and fifth in nine games overall.
Making his debut as coach of Globalport is former assistant Eric Gonzales, who takes over from Pido Jarencio, now the team consultant.
Jarencio, the former Santo Tomas U mentor, has been rumored to be on his way several weeks ago, with ex-Air21 coach Franz Pumaren reportedly close to signing up as a replacement. But the talk fell through for unclear reasons and Jarencio hung on to the post – until the Batang Pier’s two recent losses.
It is yet unknown why Gonzales, instead of Pumaren, was tapped for the job.