THEY failed to win a championship together. Now they’re trying to get one at the expense of each other.
Rain or Shine import Perre Henderson-Niles showed up at the Araneta Coliseum Monday night to watch former University of Memphis teammate Rob Dozier go for a berth in the finals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup in Alaska's game against Meralco.
Niles and the Elasto Painters have already booked the first slot in the best-of-seven title series, and a victory by the Aces would've meant a showdown between the two college teammates who failed to win an NCAA championship in 2008 as the Tigers – led by Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose – lost to Mario Chalmers and the Kansas Jayhawks in overtime, 75-68.
Unfortunately, the Bolts had other things in mind, pulling off an 86-70 win against the Aces to forge a sudden-death on Wednesday night. Dozier topscored with 18 points – on 7 of 12 shooting – to go with 15 rebounds in a losing cause with Alaska.
[See Don't count Meralco out]
The burly Rain or Shine import admitted having talked to Dozier before about a prospective finals meeting as he wished his Alaska counterpart good luck in the team’s do-or-die match with the Bolts.
“I hope we meet in the finals. I hope they can pull it out,” said Niles.
There’s no doubt in his mind on which team would win if and when Alaska gets to advance in the title series against Rain or Shine.
“If we meet in the finals, may the best team win,” he stressed. “And I think that’s my team.”
But the 28-year-old Niles made known he’s not rooting for Alaska.
“They’ve got to worry about Rain or Shine. I’m not worried about no team we’re playing against. I know my team,” said the 6-foot-8 native of Memphis, Tennessee.
“I’m ready for whoever. They’ve got to be ready for me, they’ve got to be ready for us,” added Niles.