RAIN or Shine hopes to negate its height disadvantage with its running game as it tests the mettle of Barangay Ginebra on Sunday in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Fresh from a 110-104 win over Barako last Friday in a game where they dealt with the Energy’s “pesky, quick” guards, the Elasto Painters encounter a streaking Gin Kings side bannered by twin towers Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar.
“Our problem with Ginebra is they’re a lot bigger than we are,” Painters coach Yeng Guiao said. “And we’re coming from a game where our problems were the little guys, so the approach is totally going to be different.”
Tipoff is at 5:15 p.m. with the Painters seeking a sixth win in seven games that would put them level with pacesetters Alaska and defending champion San Miguel Beer.
The Gin Kings, on the other hand, have been on a roll, having won their last three games and four out of their last five after starting the season with two losses.
The Painters try to employ the same defensive scheme when they dealt San Miguel Beer, which boasted the league’s best big man in June Mar Fajardo, its first loss in its title-retention campaign earlier this month.
The Painters managed to effectively take out the Beermen’s inside game and Fajardo was held to just 13 points and 10 boards as the reigning MVP only had seven attempts, with SMB falling in love too much with the outside shot.
“Kung ano ginawa namin kay June Mar, siguro ganun rin gagawin namin kay Greg,” said third-year center Raymond Almazan, ROS’ tallest player at 6’8”. “Every time, ready naman kami eh.”
The Gin Kings, though, have been getting significant contribution, as of late, from its backcourt, led by Mark Caguioa and LA Tenorio, who both shackled GlobalPort’s dynamic duo of Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle that resulted in an 85-70 rout last Wednesday.
The Batang Pier, who dropped an even 3-3 win-loss card, take on Blackwater (1-5) in the curtain-raiser at 3 o’clock.