RAIN or Shine tries to get its momentum going but braces for a dangerous Blackwater side on Friday when the PBA goes on the road for the first time this Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The Elasto Painters are coming off their first win this conference, a 106-89 victory over Phoenix last Saturday when they initially had to fend off a tough challenge by the Fuel Masters before pulling away in the payoff period.
The reigning Commissioner’s Cup champions seek to embark on their first winning streak, but standing in the way is another young, yet upset-conscious squad in the Elite, who stunned Star, 100-98 last Friday.
“There are no weak teams anymore in this league,” E-Painters coach Yeng Guiao said. “Any team that plays any night can beat any other team.”
The E-Painters and the Elite are in the middle of the pack with similar 1-1 win-loss records and coach Yeng Guiao is seeking seven more victories for them to gain a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals
“I think the magic number for this conference is eight,” said the outspoken mentor, whose team has been to the Final Four for a record nine straight conferences. “We’re trying to make the semifinals again. That’s the minimum objective.”
“But it’s getting harder every time,” he was quick to add. “We need to win seven more games with nine games left.”
The E-Painters are banking on import Dior Lowhorn and a balanced effort from the locals, while the Elite have Eric Dawson and are also expected to parade Asian import Imad Qahwash.
“He will still be a big help,” Elite coach Leo Isaac said of their Palestinian reinforcement, who arrived only on the eve of the 4:15 p.m. matchup.