After barely pulling through the last time out versus Air21, Rain or Shine hopes to come out with greater intensity and energy as it faces a revitalized Barangay Ginebra side in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday night.
Rain or Shine looks to regain a piece of second place with Petron Blaze at 4-1 but the Elasto Painters expect a battle against the Kings who have picked up their game, notching a first win in the mid-season tourney with a 93-72 rout of the Barako Bull Energy Cola Wednesday.
While the Kings fashioned out a dominant performance against the Energy Cola, the Elasto Painters, on the other hand, barely escaped past the Express, 99-97, on the same day.
“We just got lucky (versus Air21). Our import was in foul trouble most of the second half, played little minutes and eventually fouled out,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, insisting later though that they’re staying positive.
“We must be positive. Kung hindi ka mag-iisip na magaling ka, mas maraming gagaling kaysa sa ‘yo,” Guiao explained.
Having said that, Guiao pointed out: “We’re 3-1 but we should’ve been 4-0 kung hindi yung disgrasya against Alaska.”
Barangay Ginebra is 1-4 but could be as dangerous as any team in the league.
“I’ve lost 13 pounds since I handled the team. Hopefully, I regain it by Sunday,” said new Ginebra head coach Alfrancis Chua, hopeful they can make it two in a row versus Rain or Shine.
Chua is optimistic Vernon Macklin can match up with 7-foot-3 Rain or Shine import Bruno Sundov.
The new Ginebra bench chieftain said Macklin inspires his teammates to play better.
“Yung strength ni Macklin malakas (lumaro) na namamasa. Nag-a-assist siya at malaking bagay yun para sa mga locals,” said Chua.
“Malaking bagay din yung meron kayong import na hindi bumibigay. Siguro mas gaganda pa ang laro namin,” Chua added.
Mark Caguioa topscored with 23 points while Macklin came through with 21 points and 14 rebounds as the Kings scored their first win under Chua and their first in the conference.
Prior to Wednesday, the Kings last won a game versus the E-Painters themselves in Game Two of their Philippine Cup best-of-three quarterfinals duel.
The E-Painters triumphed in the deciding Game Three, though, then got past the San Mig Coffee Mixers in the semifinals before settling for a runner-up finish behind the eventual champs Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters. (SB)