Defending champion Rain or Shine guns for its third straight win and a piece of the lead as it battles Blackwater today in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Commissioner’s Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.
Coming off two impressive wins against NLEX (113-105) and Mahindra (99-95), the Elasto Painters aim for a win against the Elite in their 4:30 p.m. encounter to make it 3-0 and join Meralco at the top of the standings.
In the main game, TNT KaTropa and Phoenix will try to bounce back from losses as they clash at 6:45 p.m.
Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia warns his wards not to be over confident against the 0-2 Blacwater side.
“Despite losing their first two games, we can’t come out flat against Blackwater. They have a good import and their locals can step up at anytime,” said Garcia, who is hoping to draw another impressive performance from the 6’9 import Shawn Taggart.
“We just have to follow the game plan and we have to be consistent on defense too,” he added.
Taggart had 23 points and 10 rebounds in their win over the Road Warriors and followed it up with a 29-point, 10-rebound performance against the Floodbuster.
Elite head coach Leo Isaac will bank once more on import Greg Smith as they try to snap a two-game skid.
Smith, the 6’10 NBA journeyman who played for the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets, had an impressive debut when he notched 37 points and 30 rebounds in a 116-118 double overtime loss to Phoenix Petroleum.
His scoring was down in their loss to Alaska as he was limited to just 14 points although he hauled down 16 boards.
Meanwhile, the KaTropa hope to bounce back from an 89-94 defeat to Meralco last Friday.
“It is important to keep on building. We had too much mistakes against Meralco and we need to minimize it against Phoenix to get a good chance,” said Racela, who drew 19 points and 18 rebounds from import and 10-year NBA veteran Lou Amundson.
Jameel McCray and the Fuel Masters, on the other hand, will try to bounce back from an 82-101 defeat to Star where the Phoenix import debuted with 34 points, 20 rebounds and four blocks.