Rain or Shine and B-MEG try keep their hold of the top spot as they collide against separate foes in the PBA Governors’ Cu[p Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters battle streaking Barako Bull in the opener at 4:15 p.m. while the Llamados square off with defending champion Petron Blaze at 6:30 p.m.
Both teams are already assured of a spot in the next phase with league-leading 5-1 win-loss records, but Rain or Shine and B-MEG still need to collect up more wins as their elimination round records will be carried over to the semifinal stage.
And Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao knows the trek will get steeper as the tournament progresses.
“We’re not winning easy games. We’re winning hard games. If we want to contend in the semis or finals, we need to win every game,” said Guiao, whose team is coming off a hard-earned 81-77 win over Meralco.
Barako Bull is on a roll, having won its last two games, including a 109-100 triumph over Air 21 last Wednesday to improve its win-loss slate to 3-2.
Energy coach Junel Baculi said Rain or Shine will be tough to beat and they need to bring their best game in order to stand a chance against the Elasto Painters.
“It will be a big test for us so we have to play consistently both on offense and defense,” said Baculi, who will again rely on the all-around game of import LeRoy Hickerson.
“The players need to step up more if we want to advance,” Baculi added.
In the main tiff, the Llamados try to stretch their winning run to six games against the struggling Boosters, who have lost three of their last four games.
B-MEG coach Tim Cone admits Petron remains a hard matchup for his team, and said the Llamados need to play solid especially on the defensive end.
“Petron certainly has a lot of depth which is a worry for us. They are tough matchups all through their lineup,” said Cone.
The Llamados are coming off a 77-61 thumping of Alaska while the Boosters have lost their last two the last one a 83-80 heartbreaker at the hands of Barangay Ginebra.