WITH momentum on its side, Rain or Shine shoots for a share of second spot against a skidding Air21 side as PBA Commissioner’s Cup hostilities resume on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters are on a two-game roll despite missing the services of top local gunner Jeff Chan, who is out for three more weeks due to a fractured left finger.
Nevertheless, the boys of coach Yeng Guiao knew how to fill in the gap with locals Paul Lee, Jervy Cruz and big men Beau Belga as well as JR Quinahan providing the offense to support 7’3” import Bruno Sundov the past three games.
The Elasto Painters' other offensive options without Chan were on full display last week against the struggling reigning champion San Mig Coffee, 93-65.
Guiao said heading into their 5:15 p.m. showdown with Air21 that their game plan remains the same – gang-rebound to help Sundov.
“I think he’s still in good shape,” Guiao said of Sundov, who again stressed that they are sticking it out with their at 33-year-old reinforcement, waving off rumors the Croatian giant is set to be replaced.
“Kailangan lang uli magtulungan ng mga big men ko.”
On the other hand, Air21 point guard Mike Cortez hopes the Express’ import Michael Dunigan can be more assertive against Rain or Shine.
“We have to look for him (Dunigan) more because he can dominate the game if he wanted to. But there were some instances he’s not that aggressive,” said Cortez, whose team has lost back-to-back after opening the conference with a 74-70 win against Barangay Ginebra.
The 24-year-old Dunigan averaged 25 points, 15 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and 2.3 assists for the Express in his first three games.
The 6’10” Dunigan, however faded on offense in the fourth period of Air21’s disappointing 86-91 loss to surging Barako Bull last week at the Mall of Asia Arena.