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    Rain or Shine braces for tough match against bitter rival San Mig

    Dec 28, 2013

    AFTER squeaking past Barako Bull the last time out, Rain or Shine expects an ever tougher match up against chief rival San Mig Super Coffee in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    Gametime is 5:15 p.m.

    The E-Painters (6-3) are coming off a 99-95 decision over the Energy, and coach Yeng Guiao wasn’t very pleased with the way they played the second half after squandering a 15-point lead before scrambling for the win.

    Now Guiao is hopeful his team could increase its level of play against a San Mig (3-6) squad, which is looking to bounce back from a 75-88 defeat against the Alaska Aces on Friday.

    Rain or Shine will miss big man Beau Belga for the second straight game due to measles, and San Mig’s power forward Marc Pingris is likely to miss his second straight game as well due to a swollen right knee.

    Guiao refused to use Belga’s absence as an excuse in the team’s near second half meltdown against Barako Bull.

    “We missed Beau Belga because we don’t have a wide body to defend against (Barako Bull). But i don’t want to make that as an excuse,” said Guiao.

    “These things (injuries or sickness) will happen once in a while yet, we don’t want to make it an issue.”

    The Mixers need to fill a huge gap at the middle, as the absence of Pingris last Friday allowed the Aces’ big men to dominate the paint.

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    San Mig lost in the battle for the boards against Alaska, 37-49 as the boys of coach Tim Cone obviously missed Pingris’ 9.0-rebound-per-game average.

    Rookie Ian Sangalang played 27 minutes to take Pingris’ spot, but he could only grab three rebounds during the time given him as he was badly outclassed by Sonny Thoss, who finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

    Rain or Shine guard Gabe Norwood said with or without Pingris, the E-Painters should play consistent defense from tip off to the end as the Mixers remain dangerous with James Yap, Mark Barroca and PJ Simon.

    “They (Mixers) compete hard but if we play defense we’ll be alright so the biggest thing is for us to be consistent in four quarters, not just myself d but the whole team,” said Norwood, Pingris’ teammate at Gilas Pilipinas.

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