Meralco aims to bolster its semifinal chances when it tangles with Rain or Shine on Friday in the 2012 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
In seventh spot with a 2-3 record, the Bolts need to make a late charge in the short elimination phase if they are to make the six-team playoffs.
They at least have full control of their destiny, though, especially after winning their last game against Alaska, 100-95.
“Our fate is largely dependent on us,” Bolts coach Ryan Gregorio said. “If we come up with the same effort and go on a streak, we still have a chance.”
The Bolts face a tough task against the Painters, who cruised to four straight victories before being stopped by Powerade, 104-98.
The Painters, currently in second spot, will be aching to bounce back in their 5:15 meeting with the Bolts.
“It’s our lockdown defensive mentality,” Gregorio said. “Making the necessary stops and forcing turnovers will propel our fast-break game.”
The Painters boast a formidable lineup bannered by import Jamelle Cornley and locals Paul Lee, Jeff Chan, and Gabe Norwood, while the Bolts have former NBA player Mario West, Macmac Cardona and the rejuvenated Asi Taulava to lean on.
“He’s experiencing a fountain of youth,” Gregorio said of the 39-year-old Taulava, who had 23 points—making all of his seven shots—and 12 boards against the Aces.
Gregorio hopes Cardona would finally deliver more consistent numbers after outputs of two, 27, and nine in his last three games.
“He’s been up and down,” Gregorio said.
Crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra and Powerade collide in the second game at 7:30 p.m. hoping to break a three-way tie in third spot.
The Kings and Tigers both have 3-2 slates.