Rain or Shine, Ginebra square off in crucial tiff
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Rain or Shine, Ginebra square off in crucial tiff

03:31 AM August 21, 2016

Rain or Shine has been on an amazing ride, being the only team that has made at least the semifinals of each of the last nine PBA tourneys.

ROS coach Yeng Guiao is confident a win against Barangay Ginebra would boost their bid for another Final Four appearance.

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The Elasto Painters, the Commissioner’s Cup champs, and the Gin Kings, in a title drought for almost a decade now, square off in a crucial setto in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday.

Before the match, the PBA honors the late legendary coach Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan, offering him a memorial final buzzer to be observed by Atoy Co, Allan Caidic and Alvin Patrimonio – among the celebrated players “The Maestro” had handled in the pro league.

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Then it’s game time between two teams that are determined to push their playoff quests in the season-ending tourney.

“We’ll move up to joint second place if we get past by Ginebra. A win will get us back to contending for another semis appearance,” said Guiao.

“They are playing great defense this conference which means we have to bleed for our points. We’ll be looking to push the pace and see if we can outrun them,” Guiao added.

Ginebra coach Tim Cone, meanwhile, is motivated to win on the night the league pays last respect to Dalupan.

“I’m honored and excited that the Baby Dalupan tribute will be before our game, and I would love to dedicate a win for him,” said Cone.

“But as we all know, nothing comes easy with ROS. We’ll have to be at the top of our game to get a win for coach Baby,” Cone added.

The E-Painters closed in on the leaders, getting to solo fifth following a 117-114 decision over the Alaska Milk Aces the last time out.

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Their target now is to crash into the Top Four and stay there at the end of the elims to secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

The Gin Kings had a shot at solo second place in their last game but blew it on a sorry double-overtime defeat at the hands of the San Miguel Beermen (105-111).

Joe Devance and Chris Ellis were hurt at the end of the punishing grind. It’s uncertain if they’re ready to plunge into action Sunday.

But with or without them, the Gin Kings are expected to play all out to regain their winning ways. They had strung up three straight wins before bowing to the Beermen.

A curious side battle in the ROS-Ginebra tiff is that of Kings import Justin Brownlee versus former Ginebra reinforcement Dior Lowhorn.

Brownlee norms 29.2 points, 12.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.2 steals and the same number of blocks while Lowhorn norms 23 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists.

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