Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
5:15 p.m. Brgy. Ginebra vs Rain or Shine
7:30 p.m. Alaska vs Meralco
Manila, Philippines – The quarterfinals of the PBA Philippine Cup get under way today with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Rain or Shine clashing for the second time in a best-of-three playoffs at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Both teams squared off last year in the same conference with the Elasto Painters completing a two-game sweep of the league’s most popular ballclub.
However, the Kings have the Painters’ number this season, winning their last two matches in the preliminaries.
Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen downplayed the Kings’ twin victories over Rain or Shine.
“We expect a tough series. It’s good that we won our two games versus Rain or Shine, but whatever happened in the past, it’s already done and over with. This is the playoffs and we’re all back to square one,” said Tanquingcen.
Defense remains the key for most teams.
“Since this is the playoffs, all teams will put premium on playing defense. With the stakes higher, we also know it will be physical, and we’re ready for that,” Tanquingcen added.
The match is set at 5:15 p.m. preceding the 7:30 p.m. contest between sister teams San Mig Coffee and Petron Blaze.
One thing going for the Painters is the return of point guard Paul Lee who forms the league’s deadliest backcourt with Chris Tiu.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao expects a close, tight series.
“Against a Ginebra team is always a tough series. Aside from having a strong lineup, they also have the crowd,” said Guiao. (Waylon Galvez)