Blackwater and Rain or Shine will clash for win No. 3 when they face each other tonight while Talk ‘N Text Ka Tropa guns also for third victory in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Elite will be facing the Elasto Painters in the 4:15 p.m. first game to be followed by the 7 p.m. second game between the Tropang Texters and the Meralco Bolts. The Elite and the Elasto Painters are both holding an identical 2-1 win-loss record.
Blackwater, headed by this year’s top overall rookie pick Mac Belo and center Kyle Pascual, started the season on a bright note by winning its first two games before losing to Talk ‘N Text (99-92) last Friday.
The Elite, under the tutelage of Leo Isaac, will also lean on Reil Cervantes, Dennis Miranda, Nards Pinto, Arthur Dela Cruz, Ronald Pascual, Raymond Aguilar, Dylan Ababou, Ael Banal, James Sena and Ronjay Buenafe.
“After losing to Talk ‘N Text last week, we will try our very best to bounce back and get a win against Rain or Shine,” said Isaac.
But Rain or Shine is also determined to bounce back after losing against Barangay Ginebra last Sunday (81-74) that snapped a two-game win streak under new coach Carlos Garcia. Rain or Shine defeated Talk ‘N Text and Mahindra prior to that Ginebra’s loss.
But Garcia warns his players not to underestimate the Elite, saying: “Blackwater has been playing a lot different from the past and they improved so much and become more aggressive.”
“That’s why we have to aggressive on both ends and play our type pf game. I believe that we looked slow against Ginebra and we’re missing open shots. I think our defense was okay but our offense was just off during that game.”
The Elasto Painters will be banking on two-time Most Valuable Player winner James Yap, Mike Tolomia, Jeff Chan, Chris Tiu, Maverick Ahanmisi, Raymond Almazan, Beau Belga, Jewel Ponferada and Jericho Cruz.
Meanwhile, Talk ‘N Text Ka Tropa eyes a third consecutive win when it goes up against sister team Meralco. Rookie Roger Pogoy, Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario and Ranidel De Ocampo are expected to lead the Texters against the Bolts.
After losing their first game against the Elasto Painters, the Tropang Texters won their last games against Ginebra (108-103) and Blackwater (99-92) to get a 2-1 win-loss record.
The Bolts, under the tutelage of coach Norman Black, are aiming to get better every game. “We are trying to get better offensively and defensively everyday. If we do that we should be competitive against all the teams,” said Black.
“Against pick and roll and individual defense will be the key when we play Talk ‘N Text,” he added.
The Bolts, who are sporting a 1-1 win-loss record, will lean on Cliff Hodge, Jared Dillinger, Reynel Hugnatan, Baser Amer, Kelly Nabong, rookie Ed Daquioag, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Jonathan Grey, Chris Newsome and Joseph Yeo.