YENG Guiao makes his return from a one-game absence when inconsistent Rain or Shine takes on Air21 on Monday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in a game that would help determine the two teams' places in the PBA Commissioners Cup playoffs.
Guiao missed one game against league-leader Talk ‘N Text on Wednesday as he was on a 10-day business trip in Europe. The Elasto Painters lost, 80-82, even with the Texters playing without injured import Richard Howell in the second half.
Still, Guiao is confident that the Elasto Painters are due for a breakout game starting with the match against Air21.
“We haven’t played to our potential this conference, but I can feel we are about to break out,” Guiao said. “Air21 is a crucial game for us. And the guys understand the importance of this game. I’m confident we will rise to the occasion.”
The two teams are tied at 3-4 (win-loss), half a game ahead of Ginebra which Rain or Shine will meet on Sunday. All three are assured of places in the quarterfinals but the remaining games will determine the pairings in the knockout rounds.
Certainly, all three teams are looking to avoid a quarterfinal duel with teams like unbeaten Talk 'N Text and San Miguel Beer.
The Express, looking to bounce back from their sorry 84-97 loss to the San Mig last week, will have to get the much-needed contributions from Asi Taulava, Joseph Yeo and Macmac Cardona as the trio try to support import Weslye Witherspoon.
The 6-8 Witherspoon is averaging 32 points and 11.6 rebounds since replacing Herve Lamizana two weeks ago. The former Memphis Tiger forward is making an average of five three-pointers per game on a 46.9 percent shooting clip.