Basketball

Rain or Shine, San Mig Coffee renew rivalry in crucial match; streaking Ginebra faces Barako

PBA/Nuki Sabio

San Mig Coffee and Rain or Shine collide in a crucial encounter that would take the winner closer to the No. 2 spot in the 2013 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Mixers (8-3) and the Elasto Painters (8-4) meet at 6:30 p.m. with the winner getting an inside track for one of the remaining top two spots, with Talk ‘N Text (11-2) is expected to grab the top spot. The first and second place teams will enjoy twice-to-beat advantages in the quarterfinals.

In the opener, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel tries to extend its winning streak against Barako Bull at 4:15 p.m.

“Rain or Shine is always a challenge to play against. We’ve played a number of significant games against them lately and this is another one since the winner will have the inside track on the number two seed,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone.

“We’ve got a healthy lineup for the first time in a long time against them, so we’ll see if that can give us an edge this time.”

San Mig Coffee is coming off an 89-80 win against Air 21 to bounce back from a 29-point defeat at the hands of the Tropang Texters.

The Elasto Painters of coach Yeng Guiao are coming off a 97-90 loss to the Kings to slide to third spot.

“This is our most important game. This will determine our future this conference. If we win, we’re still in the hunt for the top two,” said Guiao.

In the opener, Ginebra hopes to stay in the top four with a win against the slumping Energy Colas.

The Kings are in solo fourth place with a 7-5 win-loss mark while Barako Bull, at 3-9, must win its last two matches to stay on track for at least a playoff for the No. 8 spot.

“Maganda at nananalo kami but we still cannot let our guard down,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen. “Barako Bull’s fighting for their life so all out sila. We have to keep our concentration.”

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