WILL the game of streaks hold true?
Rain or Shine hopes so, but Magnolia certainly has other things in mind.
What initially appeared as a one-sided series is now down to win-or-go-home showdown as the Elasto Painters and Hotshots go at each other one last time for a berth in the PBA Philippine Cup finals.
Game time is set 6:30 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The first Game Seven in the league the last two years was forged after Rain or Shine came through with a 91-81 win on Friday night behind the fourth quarter explosion of sophomore guard Rey Nambatac.
The victory kept alive the Elasto Painters, who actually raced to an early 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, only for the Hotshots to take the next three games and move on the verge of making the finals anew.
Now the Elasto Painters are looking to make it two in a row and play in a title series for the first time since winning the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup.
“Come Game Seven, I think we just have to be the same thing,” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia.
“I love my players from the very beginning. And I told them that we just have to trust each other and see what happens in Game Seven.”
Asked about his chances of winning, Garcia said, “Fifty-fifty. As long as we come out and play hard.”
The Rain or Shine coach of course, is wary how the Elasto Painters will handle the pressure against a Magnolia team that has been there and done that.
The Hotshots were in the finals twice last season – including the Philippine Cup against San Miguel – and were coming off a championship in the last Governors Cup.
But Magnolia coach Chito Victolero played down whatever playoffs experience his team has over Rain or Shine.
“Hindi lang naman siguro experience. Kailangan din ng will, skill and effort,” said the Magnolia coach.
“Basically, it’s all about the will of the players and the whole team.”
Winner of the match will face four-time defending champion San Miguel in the best-of-seven title series starting May 1.