By Jonas Terrado
(Mall of Asia Arena)
7 p.m. – GlobalPort vs Rain or Shine
Rain or Shine and GlobalPort meet in a do-or-die quarterfinal match tonight to determine which team advances to the best-of-five semifinals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The lone game is set at 7 p.m. which was arranged after the eighth seed Batang Pier rallied from 16 down to stun the top-ranked Elasto Painters, 114-113, on Jonathan Grey’s corner triple with 11.5 seconds left.
At stake is a meeting with either Barangay Ginebra San Miguel or Meralco in the semis. No. 5 Ginebra was looking to close out No. 4 Meralco last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum after claiming Game 1 of their best-of-three affair, 88-81, Monday night.
GlobalPort is seeking to become the first No. 8 seed to knock off the league’s top team in the quarterfinals since the 2012 Philippine Cup when Gary David’s hot hands propelled Powerade to a shock upset of coach Tim Cone and B-Meg.
Coach Pido Jarencio believes the Batang Pier, who had a seesaw campaign in the eliminations at 5-6, have what it takes to repeat over the Elasto Painters.
“It’s gonna be a dogfight, do-or-die. We’ll just do our job,” Jarencio said in Filipino.
While GlobalPort is determined to make history, Rain or Shine is out for redemption after squandering a golden chance at making the semis.
Aside from losing a 16-point lead, the Elasto Painters blew a chance at sealing the win late when Maverick Ahanmisi missed three of four free throws that gave Grey an opening to deliver in the clutch.
Ahanmisi has vowed to make up for those misses and help Rain or Shine progress to the last four for the first time since winning the title in the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup.
“Nobody wants to miss free throws in a crucial moment, especially being the top seed,” Ahanmisi said.
Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia still likes the team’s chances despite falling short on its first try.
“I feel that it’s gonna be a good game for both teams and we’re still confident that we can come out with a win,” said Garcia.