BARANGAY Ginebra hopes to kick off its killer four-game, seven-day stretch with a victory against resurgent Rain or Shine as the two collide in the main game of the PBA Governors Cup road show on Sunday at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.
The Kings are currently in second spot with a 4-1 record as they are fresh from a 98-70 ripping of Barako Bull Energy on Tuesday.
But they are certainly not taking the Elasto Painters lightly despite their opponents’ even 3-3 card.
Rain or Shine had won its last two games for the first time this conference, including a 123-72 massacre of Alaska on Wednesday, to establish a new franchise-record in winning margin.
Ginebra rookie coach Jeffrey Cariaso said he saw how Rain or Shine tore Alaska apart that no wonder, he has reminded the Kings in practice to play defense first, something the team has done well during its first five games by limiting their opponents to a league-best 80.2 points per contest.
“That’s (defense) something I think we need to continue impressing upon because it’s really what I want them to be totally focused on,” said Cariaso, whose team goes up against the Elasto Painters at 5:15 p.m.
“You let your defense help your offense. We make stops first. We also look to be aggressive. That’s pretty much the simple mantra we try to put to their heads now,” he added.
After Rain or Shine, Ginebra, faces title contender San Miguel Beer next Wednesday, followed by Alaska on Friday, before closing its elimination round schedule with a match against Talk ‘N Text.
“This (week) is our do-or-die. We’ll see how we fare this week. But I told everybody that we’ll have a prepared game plan and we just need to execute,” added the 41-year-old Ginebra freshman coach.
Meantime, Rain or Shine import Arizona Reid expects a rough contest against the tall and athletic Ginebra squad.
The 6-foot-3 Reid though mentioned that his league career-high 48 points during the team’s 51-point demolition of the Aces has helped him regain his confidence a great deal.
“It was just one of those nights that I shot well. And it came at the right time because in three of our first five games, I’ve been struggling offensively, but I’m not discouraged because coach Yeng (Guiao) believes in me,” said Reid, who finished with an efficient 18-of-26 shooting against Alaska, including five three-point shots.
“He (Guiao) knows what I can do. But I’m not saying this (red-hot shooting) gonna happen every night, but I felt like my confidence is going up now,” added the one-time PBA Best Import.