SECOND seed Rain or Shine and no. 3 Alaska Aces start their best-of-five semifinals battle today in the 39th Philippine Basketball Association Governor’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Both the Elasto Painters and the Aces, both bearing a twice-to-beat advantage for finishing second and third respectively in the elimination round, beat separate opponents in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Rain or Shine eliminated Air 21 Express, 111-90 while the Aces sent Ginebra to the exit door with a 92-81 triumph to advance into the Final Four. In the other semifinals match, top seed Talk ‘N Text was still playing Grandslam-seeking San Mig Coffee at presstime.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao’s squad enjoys a psychological edge when they meet the Aces in the lone game set at 8 p.m. Guiao’s confidence was based on their 123-72 victory over the Aces in the short elimination round on June 4.
Guiao is expected to rely on import Arizona Reid, who notched 48 points and 10 rebounds in their first meeting, which was the largest winning margin posted in the conference. The 6’4 Reid will be supported by Jeff Chan, Beau Belga, Ryan Arana Paul Lee, Raymond Almazan and Chris Tiu.
Coach Alex Compton’s Aces will lean on import Henry Walker, JV Casio, Sonny Thoss, Gabby Espinas, Calvin Abueva, Tony de la Cruz, Vic Manuel and Cyrus Baguio.
Team Standings W L
x-Talk ‘N Text 7 2
x-Rain or Shine e 6 3
x-Alaska 5 4
x-San Mig Coffee 5 4
y-San Miguel Beer 5 4
y-Ginebra 5 4
y-Air 21 5 4
y-Barako Bull 3 6
z-Meralco 3 6
z-Globalport 1 8
x-clinched twice-to-beat advantage
y- clinched quarterfinals