(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:30 p.m. – Kia vs Rain or Shine
6:45 p.m. – NLEX vs Meralco
The Meralco Bolts face a tough test in their bid to stay unbeaten as they battle the NLEX Road Warriors today in the resumption of the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
After winning their first four games in impressive fashion, the Bolts’ status as one of the top contenders in the season-ending conference will be put to the challenge by the Road Warriors, a team that is eager to bounce back from absorbing its first loss after a surprising 3-0 start.
Meralco and NLEX meet at 6:45 p.m. after Rain or Shine begin a new era in the 4:30 p.m. opener opposite winless Kia.
Rain or Shine will play for the first time since dealing Jeff Chan to Phoenix in a trade consummated Monday. The Elasto Painters are also going to parade Ed Daquioag, who was acquired for Mike Tolomia in a separate trade, and new import J’Nathan Bullock, replacing JD Weatherspoon.
Focus, however, will be on Meralco, which has shown no signs of slowing down after winning four straight thanks to import Allen Durham.
Durham is coming off a triple-double with 25 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds in the 112-97 rout of Kia Sunday before the league began its semi-break to give way to Gilas Pilipinas’ participation in the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon.
Meralco coach Norman Black would like nothing more to add another win and boost its bid to claim a top four finish after the elims and a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, NLEX hopes that the long break would benefit them after absorbing a 110-97 loss to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in an out-of-town game in Calasiao, Pangasinan last Aug. 5.
The Road Warriors’ readiness to make the playoffs will be tested anew in the form of the Bolts.