Game Today (Mall of Asia Arena)
7 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs Talk ’N Text
There is a bit of concern in the Rain or Shine camp, and head coach Yeng Guiao is hoping that the Elasto Painters can find a solution in time for their do-or-die game with Talk ’N Text in the Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup today at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.
The two teams, both armed with twice-to-beat incentives, arranged a knockout match with the winner earning a semifinal series versus Alaska after dispatching their respective opponents in the first stage of playoffs.
Rain or Shine turned back a tenacious first time quarterfinalist Blackwater 95-90, while Talk ’N Text escaped with a 90-88 victory opposite fellow MVP-owned team NLEX last Saturday.
The game between the Elasto Painters and the Tropang Texters is set at 7 p.m.
“We have to play a lot better,” said Guiao moments after his team’s win against Blackwater that saw the Elite rally back from a 15-point deficit in the third quarter when they tied the score at 75-all early in the final frame.
“I’m hoping that the next time we play we raise the level of energy. Because if we play this way, we might not make it to the next round,” said Guiao, adding that he will have a serious talk with his players.
One thing going for TNT is that it won convincingly against Rain or Shine, 95-85, during their first and only meeting in the elimination round last Dec. 6 that saw the Texters open a 17-0 lead, and were up by as many as 25 points, 34-9, to control the game.
Talk ’N Text coach Jong Uichico, however, said that a playoff game is a totally different ball game – especially a knockout match.
“You throw it out the window, the result of our first meeting because this is a different level now, with the stakes higher,” said Uichico, whose team had a highly physical and emotional seven-game finals series in the Commissioner’s Cup last season against RoS they won in Game 7.