RAIN or Shine considers its Saturday clash with Air21 as critical in the wake of the team’s back-to-back losses in the PBA Governors' Cup.
The E-Painters are trying to use the 4:15 p.m. tussle against the Express as an opportunity to regroup and stay in contention for a spot in the Top Four of the standings for a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.
The team is coming off two straight losses at the hands of Petron and Alaska, respectively, losing by an average margin of 15 points for an even 2-2 record.
“This is the halfway mark for us, which means, a win could help us in our goal to finish in the top four, while a loss could possibly relegate us to a survival situation,” Guiao told Spin.ph after the team’s practice on Friday.
The fiery Rain or Shine mentor acknowledges his team has been struggling on offense, shooting below 37 percent in its last two outings.
But he has ordered resident gunners led by Jeff Chan, Paul Lee, Chris Tiu, and Tyrone Tang to keep firing especially against the Express, who are also on a tailspin of late.
“Jeff is on a shooting slump, he has gone zero-of-seven from the three. But the only way to get out of our shooting slump is to fire away,” said Guiao.
On the other hand, Air21 coach Franz Pumaren said the Express’ backs are against the wall at this point.
With two straight losses and carrying a 1-3 record, the multi-titled collegiate coach mentioned the need for his team to play collectively and not be overly reliant on returning import Zach Graham.
“Except for the San Mig game where we played splendidly, we aren’t playing our best. Our locals have been inconsistent. And we need to be consistent so we can get over the hump,” Pumaren said.
The Express bowed to Barako Bull last Sunday (83-94) and then got clobbered by Petron on Wednesday, 86-112.