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(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:15 p.m. – Phoenix vs Star
7 p.m. – Mahindra vs Rain or Shine
Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao hopes that the saying ‘third time’s a charm’ works for the Elasto Painters as they parade a new import in Jason Forte when they meet Mahindra in the PBA Governors’ Cup today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Forte replaced Dior Lowhorn after ROS won just three games – out of seven matches – that placed the team in the middle of the pack as the quarterfinal playoff race heats up.
ROS management initially asked Forte to come last week but the former Southern Mississippi stalwart begged off, forcing the Painters to bring in Greg Smith, who arrived last Sunday.
Smith, however, failed to make the required height limit as he measured a few centimeters taller than 6-foot-5, prompting Rain or Shine to again call Forte – and this time he agreed.
“He’s actually the third import, and hopefully he can help us win games, help us achieve our goal this conference,” said Guiao, whose team is nursing a 101-99 loss to Globalport last Saturday in Legazpi City. “I hope it is third time’s a charm for us with Forte.”
At the moment, only four teams are assured of eight playoff berths, with TNT KaTropa leading the quarterfinalists with a league-best 7-1 record, followed by Mahindra, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and defending champion San Miguel Beer all with 6-2 cards.
Meralco is at solo fifth with a 5-4 slate while ROS is tied with Phoenix at 3-4, followed by NLEX, Globalport and Alaska all at 3-5. Star carries a 1-6 slate and Blackwater has 1-7.
The top four teams will earn twice-to-beat incentives against the 5th to 8th quarterfinalists in the playoffs, while the bottom four after the elimination round will be eliminated.
The game between Rain or Shine and Mahindra is set at 7 p.m., right after the 4:15 p.m. game of Phoenix and Star – two teams hoping to keep alive their respective bids in the quarterfinals.