Rain or Shine hopes to go into the quarterfinals with enough confidence as it takes on an already-ran Alaska Milk side in Sunday’s final elimination round playdate of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters are currently tied with the Brgy. Ginebra Kings at fourth place on identical 8-5 (win-loss) slates and a victory over the Aces in their 4:15 p.m. encounter would send it another logjam, this time at No. 3 with the Petron Blaze Boosters (9-5).
A loss would send the Terry Que and Raymund Yu-owned club sprawling to a deadlock at No. 5 spot with the Meralco Bolts (8-6).
PBA format dictates that the No. 3 team plays the No. 6 team and the No. 4 squad clashes the No. 5 squad in a pair of best-of-three showdowns for the right to make it to the semifinals.
So Rain or Shine will most likely play one among Petron Blaze, Brgy. Ginebra, which will play current league leader Talk N’ Text (10-3) in the final elims game, or Meralco, which are all tough matches.
“All of them are great matches,” said Rain or Shine coach Joseller “Yeng” Guiao. “It would be nice though to enter the playoffs with a win.”
And that is why the Elasto Painters are leaving no stones unturned when they play the Joel Banal-mentored Aces, currently 3-10 who will finish ninth and second to the last regardless of the result of their last outing.
Of course, Rain or Shine is already out of the running in the race for the top spot and the twice-to-beat advantage that goes with it as Talk N’ Text and B-Meg (10-4) are already assured of these two slots.
The No. 1 seed, of course, collides with the No. 8 while the No. 2 the No. 7 team needing just a win to advance to the semis.
Powerade and Barako Bull finished the elims tied at No. 7 on 6-8 cards.(JV)