Today may not be the best time to play unbeaten Rain or Shine, but don't tell that to Siot Tanquingcen.
"It's a challenge to play the top team," said the Barangay Ginebra on the eve of their PBA Governors Cup match against the Painters at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. "It's a good test to see where we are as a team."
Tanquingcen is understandably in an upbeat mood after the Gin Kings walloped the Meralco Bolts, 100-73, in an out-of-town game in Lapu-lapu City last Saturday to wipe their troubles away, at least for the moment.
Only weeks earlier, Ginebra looked very much like a team in crisis aftera 96-88 loss to B-Meg where Tanquingcen received a lot of flak for benching top rookie Dylan Ababou.
Ababou was back in action on Saturday, scoring four points in 25 minutes.
Despite the turnaround, the Gin Kings are bracing for a difficult time against the Painters, the league's in-form team at the moment with victories in their first three games.
Import Jamelle Cornley has blended well with Rain or Shine's locals, his inside-outside game still allowing gunners like Jeff Chan, Ryan Buenafe, Paul Lee and Gabe Norwood to get their share of shots.
To stop the Painters, Tanquingcen is counting on a defense that held Meralco to 73 points and Bolts stars Macmac Cardona and Champ Oguchi to two and 16 points, respectively.
“Defense is crucial. We have to make sure shots are contested,” Tanquingcen said.
In the opener at 5:15 p.m., the B-Meg Llamados also seek their third win when they collide with the Bolts.
B-Meg beat Barako Bull, 95-90, in their last outing and the reigning Commissioner’s Cup champions hope to get the same production from import Marcus Blakely, James Yap, Marc Pingris and the rejuvenated Yancy de Ocampo.