AFTER scraping through San Mig Coffee in the conference-opener, Rain or Shine now tries to grab the early lead against unpredictable Globalport as action continues on Saturday in the PBA Governors Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The E-Painters struggled before pulling off a hard-earned 79-75 victory over the Mixers, their Finals victims in this same conference last season, despite playing without starters Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood.
Chan and Norwood, who played vital roles in Gilas Pilipinas’ runner-up finish in the recent Fiba-Asia men’s championships, are expected to suit up and might play against Batang Pier in their 3:45 p.m. match-up.
“I think the rest would do a lot of good to them (Chan and Norwood) so maybe I’ll play them on the next game. But again, winning is the top priority of course,” said Guiao on Wednesday night.
Guiao, who drew 28 points and 20 rebounds for one-time PBA Best Import Arizona Reid in the match against san Mig, knows Globalport is an entirely different team because of its roster buildup during the conference break.
In fact, the Batang Pier have showed signs of life in their 101-94 win over the Air21 Express on Wednesday night with youthful import Markeith Cummings exploding for 37 points, 11 rebounds and three steals.
Churning out big numbers as well were newly-acquired forward Jay Washington, who had 15 points and nine rebounds, while rookie guard Jaypee Belencion added 14, spiked by four triples.
The 6-7 Washington said he feels at home playing for his new team, since he was traded by Petron more than a month ago. The Eckerd College product though was still adjusting to his new teammates as evidenced by his 4-of-13 shooting night for Batang Pier.
Nevertheless, the two-time PBA Best Player of the Conference awardee expects his team to get better in the coming games as they work on improving their defense.
“I think we got to do a better job closing out the quarters, especially at the end of the game. We just need to get better,” said the 31-year-old former Petron Blaze star.