Perennial contender Rain or Shine, its spot secured in the quarterfinal round now secured, hopes to arm itself with a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs when it takes on Meralco today in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters are on a five-game winning streak, and with a 6-4 record, they are currently in a three-way tie with the Globalport Batang Pier and Barako Bull Energy for the third to fifth spots in the standings.
A victory will most likely give ROS that quarterfinal advantage since it enjoys a superior quotient even if it ends up tied with other teams on 7-4 slates after the elimination round.
Rain or Shine and Meralco (5-4) clash at 5:15 p.m. after the 3 p.m. encounter between Barako Bull and defending champion Star (4-5).
Rain or Shine mentor Yeng Guiao likes his team’s chances although he understands that they are up against a team capable of upsetting the E-Painters’ plans since the Bolts are also looking at a chance to get a shot at the quarterfinal advantage.
“We need to win this game to avoid any complication. We have a good chance because we have better quotient. So maski mag-tabla-tabla, I think lamang pa din kami,” said Guiao.
“It’s going to be a battle, it’s going to be a tough game. It’s going to be like a playoff game,” he added.
ROS started the conference at 1-4, but has regained its deadly form following victories over Star (103-88), Talk ’N Text (88-73), NLEX (106-102) and expansion teams Blackwater and Kia (94-90).
One thing going for Rain or Shine is its complete roster as ace gunner Jeff Chan, who missed their first four games this conference, rejoined the team and has contributed in the five wins.
Also, local mainstays Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga, Chris Tiu, Raymond Almazan, Ryan Arana, Jireh Ibanes, Jervy Cruz and JR Quinahan are showing better chemistry with import Wendell McKines, who averages 25.50 points and 14.90 rebounds.
The Meralco Bolts, on the other hand, will rely on import Andre Emmett, who averages 33.33 points and 10 rebounds, and Asian reinforcement Seiya Ando, with local support from Gary David, Jared Dillinger, Cliff, Hodge, Sean Anthony and Mike Cortez.
An interested fan of Ando, the commissioner of the Japan Basketball League, will reportedly be flying in to watch Ando in action.
Equally exciting is the match up of Star and Barako Bull, which is out to snap a three-game losing skid.
The Hotshots are coming off a 105-93 victory against the Tropang Texters last Tuesday while the Energy are nursing a 120-98 setback to the Ginebra San Miguel Kings last Wednesday.