RAIN or Shine may be on track for its first-ever trip to the finals, but it's definitely not resting on its laurels when the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals unfolds on Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The Painters carry over their 8-1 win-loss card — the best elimination-round finish in franchise history — to the next round and probably needs just two more wins to make the championship round.
But they’re not looking that far ahead.
“We’re not just looking to win two games,” Painters coach Yeng Guiao said. “We’re looking to win as many games as we can in order to toughen us up and gain more experience.”
Their first assignment will be against Petron Blaze at 7:30 p.m.
One thing that could go against the Painters is the Boosters’ new import Marcus Faison, a 34-year-old Belgium league veteran. The Painters have yet to scout Faison, who, despite being a temporary replacement for the injured Eddie Basden, is expected to make an impact right away.
The Boosters entered the semifinals after edging Air21, 98-97, courtesy of an Alex Cabagnot teardrop right before the buzzer.
And the Boosters, bannered by Cabagnot, Jay Washington, Chris Lutz, and Arwind Santos, hope to build on the confidence-boosting win.
But no one can seem to stop the Painters, who have won four straight games, the last a nail-biting 92-90 win over Talk N Text last week.
Spearheaded by Jamelle Cornley, Paul Lee, and Jeff Chan, the Painters look to keep their hot streak and prove that they are ripe to make the finals.
“We need to prove that this team is a contender and not just a pretender,” Guiao said. “We need to prove that this team’s time has come.”
Barangay Ginebra and Meralco also try to start their semifinal campaigns on a high note as they square off in the first game at 5:15 p.m.
The Kings made the next round outright after walloping Barako Bull, 102-82, while the Bolts clinched the sixth and last semifinal spot after emerging victorious in the three-way playoff with the Energy and Powerade.