RoS, Barako Bull eye QF seats anew
MANILA, Philippines - Rain or Shine and Barako Bull take another shot at formalizing their entry into the quarterfinal round as they battle Talk n Text and Alaska Milk, respectively, in the third- to-the-last elimination round playdate of the PBA Governors Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome tonight.
The Energy Cola and the Elasto Painters also try to keep their bid for the Top Four and the twice-to-beat incentive in the quarters as they face the Aces and the Tropang Texters at 5:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively.
The Aces, meanwhile, pursue their own Top Four aspiration while the Tropang Texters fight for survival with a new import in Courtney Fells.
“It’s a big game. Five wins will mean you are already assured of a playoffs spot for the Top Four. The other side of the coin is that five losses take you out of a twice-to-beat advantage. So this game means a lot,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.
Rain or Shine and Barako are both looking to close out their elims stint at 5-4 while Alaska seeks to hit the .500 mark (4-4) and Talk n Text hopes to improve to 3-5.
“At this point, it’s still a free-for-all for all the teams to make the quarters,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo. “Barako is a well-oiled machine and (Michael) Singletary is a load.”
Talk n Text coach Norman Black, meanwhile, is hopeful their new import could give them a lift in their crucial game versus Rain or Shine.
“We hope to get a lift from him especially on the defensive end of the floor,” said Black. “It’s pretty much a do-or-die for us. It’s a tough task but we will give all our energy to get a win.”
Fells, a 27-year-old Shannon, Mississippi native who has had tours of duty in Dominican Republic, Italy, Israel and Cyprus, arrived in the country Saturday to take over from Tony Mitchell.
For the record, Mitchell is the one and only import who’s been replaced thus far in the tourney.
Black is pinning his hopes on the former North Carolina State mainstay to get Talk n Text out of a three-game slump.
The Texters fell to ninth place on a 102-106 upset by the Air21 Express Friday. Their 2-5 card is the franchise’s worst start in an import-laced tourney for over a decade.
“We don’t know much about him, but we know he’s more of a wing man, and we’ve had success against imports who play in the wings because we have guys who can defend him,” said Guiao. “We have tougher times against low-post playing imports because we’re not that big.”
Rain or Shine could have been in the quarters already if not for its sorry downfall Saturday, felled by Mac Baracael’s three charities with three-tenths of a second left in the game.
The team thought of placing the result of the game under protest, but failed to submit the protest paper inside the allowed period.
“I’m looking at the team, I’m looking at their demeanor; the loss is not a problem. In fact, we have taken it positively and we won’t let ourselves be discouraged. We are actually using it as an additional motivation,” said Guiao.
“We’re still very positive, not only with the game tomorrow (today) but with the whole conference,” he added.