PBA commissioner Chito Salud leads a three-team PBA delegation leaving for Dubai today for two official Governors’ Cup games at the Al Shabab Al Arabi Club in the United Arab Emirates.
It will be the fourth sojourn by the PBA to this basketball hotbed in the Middle East.
Rain or Shine hopes to finally barge into the win column after a two-game losing start when it plays back-to-back games, taking on Globalport on May 21 and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on May 22. Both games are set at 7 p.m. in Dubai (11 p.m. Manila time).
“Obligasyon natin yan sa mga kababayan natin don; it’s a small sacrifice for overseas fans,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao. “It’s also a character-building situation for us because it forces you to adapt, makes you play tougher, physically and mentally.”
Asked if playing back-to-back games, an unheard of practice in the regular PBA schedule, will not be detrimental to the Elasto Painters, Guiao said in jest: E wala silang mapapayag na dalawang games na bugbog so kami na lang pumayag. But personally, it’s just part of our contribution to provide high level basketball to overseas Filipino workers.”
Erick Arejola, the Globalport Batang Pier governor, shares Guiao’s views.
“We’re thankful to the PBA for inviting us to be part of this project,” Arejola said. “We’ll do our best to provide real entertainment to our kababayans out there.
Globalport is on scorching streak, winning its first three games in the elimination round. The Batang Pier were playing the San Miguel Beer at presstime at the Cuneta Astrodome, while Barangay Ginebra is aching to comeback after a stunning 83-77 loss to the Blackwater Elite in Dipolog City in the Petron Saturday Special two days ago.
“Dubai always beckons. And we can’t resist our fans there. They simply love the PBA and the PBA loves our countrymen there even more,” said Chito Salud. “Rain or Shine, Globalport and Ginebra will put on a show for Dubai.”
Back in the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup, Rain or Shine turned back Barako Bull on Feb. 23 but fell to Barangay Ginebra the next day, 89-88.
The Dubarematch is on therefore between the Kings and E-Painters. Blckmrkt International and Clique are the Dubai games’ promoters.