Rain or Shine tries to get back on track in its bid for its first-ever finals appearance as it takes on Meralco in Sunday’s opening game of PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal round action at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The league-leading Elasto Painters, who are coming off a loss to Petron Blaze last Friday, and the Bolts meet at 3:30 p.m. to be followed by the battle between the Boosters and the Barangay Ginebra Kings at 6:30 p.m.
The wards of coach Yeng Guiao are still on top of the standings with an 8-2 win-loss mark despite their 90-88 defeat to the Boosters last Friday.
“Even if we lost our last game, I saw positive signs about the team’s character in dealing adversity,” said Guiao.
“We know Meralco is desperate, and a desperate team is a dangerous team. But we are as dangerous coming from a loss. To us, it’s so near yet so far.”
The Bolts are in a must-sweep scenario after dropping their opening game to the Kings. They need to win all of their remaining four matches to avail of the incentive that gives teams that win four of their five semis games a playoff for the second finals spot.
“Must win indeed. No other away to look,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio, whose wards are at the bottom of the standings at 4-6.
“Against Rain or Shine, we must bounce back. Our season is on the brink. Win to stay alive, that is our challenge.”
In the main game, Ginebra hopes to draw energy from the retirement ceremony of Robert Jaworski when it battles Petron.
“It’s tough playing Petron. They’re very talented at kumpleto sila,” said Kings coach Siot Tanquingcen. “It’s gonna be a tough matchup.”
The Boosters and the Kings are tied in the standings at 6-4, and the winner will get the edge and move closer to the incentive.
“Magandang motivation din ‘yung hindi pa kami nananalo sa Ginebra,” said Petron coach Ato Agustin. “Kailangan din manalo and our focus will be on Ginebra.”
» Former Best Import Arizona Reid to join Rain or Shine for Governors’ Cup title defense
» Alaska-Ginebra Commissioner’s Cup finals Game Three on TV5 beats ABS-CBN, GMA-7 in ratings
» Caption This: Mark Caguioa looks a bit different, and why is he with Alaska fans in the stands?