RAIN or Shine looks to grab a piece of the lead when it clashes with bitter rival Talk ’N Text on Wednesday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters, winners of their last five games since dropping their conference-opener against the Alaska Aces (6-1), are expected to ride that momentum in the 7:30 p.m. game against the Tropang Texters (3-3).
It will be the first match between the two teams since the Philippine Cup Finals, but Rain or Shine won’t have Yeng Guiao on the sidelines this time as the multi-titled PBA coach left for the United States on Monday to attend to personal matters.
Guiao’s lead deputy Caloy Garcia will be taking over for Rain or Shine, which got swept by Talk ’N Text in the best-of-seven Finals in January.
Garcia said they are using that as motivation to get back at their tormentors this time with 7-foot-3 import Bruno Sundov anchoring their offense and defense.
“We just have to do what we have been doing this conference. At the same time, pinaalala namin yung nangyari na ma-sweep kami last conference as motivation,” Garcia told Spin.ph after the team’s practice.
Unlike two of the team’s last three games where Sundov has been getting limited touches due to foul trouble, Garcia said they will try to exploit their import’s height advantage to ensure they get their baskets inside.
“I told them that we want Bruno to get more touches in the paint. From there, we’ll see what happens,” added Garcia.
Talk ’N Text mentor Norman Black, meantime, expects a more resilient and determined Rain or Shine, saying he’s aware of the E-Painters’ improved play this conference.
“It will be a tough challenge for us because they haven’t missed a beat since last conference, while we have been struggling,” Black said.
The Tropang Texters squeaked past the Barako Bull Energy Cola on Saturday, 101-98 in Legazpi City.
Talk N Text will be expecting more from comebacking import Donnell Harvey this time after the 6’8” reinforcement took just five shots and finished with only eight points, while adding 10 boards, against Barako Bull.
“We will just try to take another step to catch up with the leaders. The key for us is to have good transition and three-point defense, especially after their post ups for their import,” added the PBA grand slam coach, whose team is currently tied with sister team Meralco in join fourth place.