(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:15 p.m. – Alaska vs NLEX
7 p.m. – Rain nor Shine vs Star
At stake vs Star: Playoff or outright quarters entry.
There really must be something about fighting with one’s back against the wall.
It induces moxie, for one.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao is confident his team is capable of coming up with a win to push for a playoff slot although he said they have to treat their game against ousted Star with caution in the PBA Governors’ Cup today at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“They may be out of the playoff race contention,” said Guiao, “but a team with no pressure, with nothing to lose, that team is very much dangerous.
“Aside from that, Star has the tools to really compete even if they are no longer in playoff contention.”
The game between Rain or Shine and Star is scheduled at 7 p.m., after the Alaska-NLEX encounter at 4:15 p.m., another important tiff with quarterfinal playoff repercussions.
At the moment, the Elasto Painters are in ninth spot with a 4-6 card and a win would give them two possibilities: an outright quarterfinal spot or a playoff for the No. 8 berth.
The first scenario enetails the occurence of a three-way logjam at 5-6. If it wins, the Painters would tie the Phoenix Fuel Masters and the winner of the Aces and Road Warriors game.
With that outcome, ROS – due to a better quotient – would earn automatic passage to the next round while Alaska and Phoenix would dispute the No. 8 spot.
A setback, however, by NLEX and a win by Rain or Shine would give the Warriors entry to the quarterfinals, sending Phoenix and ROS to a knockout for the eighth and last quarterfinal spot.
Guiao said their concern for now is to win against Star and not worry about the consequences.
“We don’t want to think of anything except win this game. That’s our focus, that’s our main concern. We’re confident, we’re coming in prepared and we know we are capable of winning this game,” said Guiao.
ROS lost its previous match to defending champion San Miguel Beer (82-75) last Saturday on the debut of import Josh Dollard, who finished with 18 points and nine rebounds.
Dollard is Rain or Shine’s fourth reinforcement after Dior Lowhorn, Greg Smith – who wasn’t able to play as he was measured over the height limit of 6-foot-5 – and Jason Forte.
Guiao will also be pinning his hopes on his local crew, particularly on Paul Lee and Jeff Chan as the former scored just two points on 1-of-5 shooting from the field while the latter was scoreless as he missed all three attempts from the perimeter.
“Hindi pa naman kami nagkaroon ng game na back-to-back parehas silang hindi nakapag-contribute. After our game against SMB, I’m expecting them to contribute in our game versus Star,” said Guiao.