Rain or Shine shoots for an outright quarterfinal berth when it plays Kia today in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After going 1-4, the Elasto Painters have rediscovered their old touch which somehow got lost following a grueling seven-game final series that it lost to Talk ‘N Text in the Commissioner’s Cup.
ROS has won its last four matches capped by a convincing 103-88 victory over defending champion Star last Saturday that improved its record to 5-4, tied with the Meralco Bolts.
Aside from advancing to the quarters, the Elasto Painters are also on track for a twice-to-beat bonus, which will be given to the top four quarterfinalists against the fifth to eighth teams in the crossover round.
The game between Rain or Shine and Kia is set at 4:15 p.m., while Barako Bull battles a Barangay Ginebra San Miguel side fighting to make the playoffs in the 7 p.m. encounter.
“A win against Kia can assure us of a quarterfinals spot, and at the same time keep our chances open for a twice-to-beat,” said Guiao, whose team has made the playoffs since taking over in January 2011.
“I think that with the four-game win streak, our rhythm is back, our confidence is back, the chemistry is back… our problems early this conference because of the lack of preparation after our series with TNT.”
“We need to win our last two games to make it to the top four because even if we end up tied with other teams, we can have a superior quotient to make it to the top four in the quarters,” said Guiao.
At the moment, Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer and Alaska are tied for the lead with similar 7-2 cards, followed by Barako Bull (6-3) and Globalport (6-4), while Rain or Shine and Meralco are tied for fifth and sixth places, with Kia at seventh (4-4) and TNT at eighth (4-5).
At the bottom four are Star (3-5), Ginebra (3-6), NLEX (2-7) and Blackwater (1-7).
“It’s a validation also that even if we struggled at the start of conference, we are proving to ourselves that we can contend deep in the playoffs, which we had been doing the last five seasons,” said Guiao.
“It’s also a validation on our choice of our import. When we were losing kasi, questions and doubts were there on our choice of our import Wendell McKines on his ability to and bring the team to the playoffs. Now with the four-game streak, he’s proving that he’s the right choice,” added Guiao.
The 6-foot-5 McKines, who averages 27.90 points and 14.40 rebounds, will have his hands full against Kia’s 7-foot-1 Senegalese reinforcement Hamady N’Diaye.