RAIN or Shine tries to move on from a controversial loss last weekend as it focuses on the task of earning a quarterfinal ticket when it goes up against fast-fading Talk ’N Text in the PBA Governors Cup on Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
E-Painters big man Beau Belga said they are not going to let the loss against the Barangay Ginebra Kings affect them in their bid to close out their elimination round schedule with a win and a quarterfinal seat.
“Tapon na iyan eh. Nangyari na iyan, wala na kaming magagawa. But that loss gives us an additional motivation to go for the win,” Belga said, referring to Rain or Shine’s 100-101 loss that ended in controversial fashion.
The 6-foot-6 Belga was whistled for a foul in the dying seconds by referee Nol Quilingen as the burly Rain or Shine big man tried to stop Barangay Ginebra forward Mac Baracael, who went for a three-point attempt.
The foul drew a howl of protest among the players and coaching staff of Rain or Shine. Nonetheless, the 6’3” Baracael was sent to the stripe and nailed all three of his shots to seal the Gin Kings’ victory.
On Sunday, PBA commissioner Chito Salud upheld Quilingen’s late-game call on Belga, while declaring Rain or Shine’s protest as invalid on a technicality.
“Naka-focus lang kami sa magiging game namin saka very focused din kami sa practice. Basta di na namin iniisip yung talo namin. For the team, parang new start ito,” he added.
And while Rain or Shine needs just one win to grab a quarterfinal slot, Talk ’N Text is teetering on the brink of elimination and needs to win its last two games and hope that either Globalport or Barangay Ginebra fails to get more than three wins.
“Well, it’s pretty much do or die for us. We are hoping to get a lift from our import Courtney Fells especially on the defensive end of the floor. It is a tough task but we will give all our energy to get a win,” said Talk ’N Text coach Norman Black.
TNT took a big gamble when it became the first team this conference to change its import as the conference heads into the final week of the single-round elims.
Taking the place of high-scoring import Tony Mitchell is North Carolina State alum Courtney Fells, whom Black said can provide the defensive spunk for the team.
Talk ’N Text is in ninth spot with a 2-5 record, in danger of missing the quarterfinals for the first time since the 2008 Fiesta Cup, the team’s first conference under Black’s predecessor Chot Reyes.