RAIN or Shine focuses on the only thing it can control when it fights for survival in the PBA Governors’ Cup game against also-ran Star on Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Elasto Painters are running ninth with a 4-6 win-loss record, outside the eight-team playoff line, and in a must-win situation against the Hotshots, no thanks to a 82-75 loss to San Miguel Beer last Saturday on replacement import Josh Dollard's debut.
True to his character, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao stood defiant ahead of the game of death.
“That’s our only focus now: win the Friday game and wait for the result of the other teams and then we’ll see,” Guiao said.
“I guess, to me, it’s even better because the longer it takes, the more games we have for the import,” the champion coach added. “Ang tingin ko lang naman sa kanya, conditioning lang ng konti tsaka learning the system of the team a little bit more.”
A victory against the Hotshots in the matchup that tips off at 7 p.m. will keep the E-Painters in the running for a playoff berth and a chance to stretch their streak of 12 straight postseason appearances.
Once they clear that hurdle, Guiao has no doubt the Elasto Painters will be a threat to any team they face in the playoffs.
“I’m still confident that if we make the Top Eight, whoever is number one will have their hands full against us,” Guiao said. “So makahabol lang kami dun sa number eight, subukan namin kung hanggang saan kami makakarating.”
The E-Painters, though, can still clinch the playoffs outright as the seventh seed with a win and if NLEX beats Alaska in the curtain-raiser at 4:15 p.m. in a scenario that will leave the Aces taking on Phoenix in a playoff for the last spot.
But the E-Painters, hoping for good performances from Paul Lee and Jeff Chan, are certainly not looking past the eliminated Hotshots, who are eager to end their disappointing campaign on a positive note.