RAIN or Shine is set to find out how realistic its title-retention bid can be as it takes on a team that’s playing it’s the defending champion of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The reigning champion Elasto Painters gauge their chances as they face San Miguel Beer on Saturday in the Petron Saturday Special at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Beermen hardly showed a championship hangover following their Philippine Cup conquest as they have won their first four games in the midseason tournament and are the only unbeaten team left in the conference.
Their dominance has been none more evident than last Wednesday when the Beermen dealt Mahindra a 29-point beating despite giving their starters, especially June Mar Fajardo, extended rest.
Fajardo is expected to be rejuvenated as the reigning MVP anchors the Beermen against the E-Painters in their 5:15 p.m. matchup.
“It’s a big game for us,” ROS coach Caloy Garcia, whose team is in a three-way tie for fourth spot with a 4-2 win-loss record, said. “We just have to be consistent on the defensive side.”
The E-Painters’ defense was a problem against Phoenix last week as they fell into a huge 17-point hole before going on a monumental comeback to score a stunning two-point win.
Press Corps Player of the Week Jeff Chan led the turnaround against the Fuel Masters and should be among the leaders among the E-Painters’ locals supporting import Shawn Taggart, who matches up against Charles Rhodes.
Star, one of the two teams knotted with Rain or Shine, seeks to snap a two-game skid as it tangles with Blackwater in the curtain-raiser at 3 o’clock.