Rain or Shine battles SMB in semis opener

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Rain or Shine and back-to-back Philippine Cup champions San Miguel Beer will clash at 5 p.m. in Game One of the best-of-five finals of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

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Yeng Guiao, coach of the Elasto Painters said that San Miguel Beer’s high-scoring import Tyler Wilkerson would definitely pose a tough challenge to his wards.

“That’s the way I see it even with eyes close that import [Wilkerson] can shoot,” Guiao told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “Our import Pierre [Henderson-Niles] will match up June Mar Fajardo that left Raymond [Almazan] and Gabe [Norwood] to take care of Wilkerson.”

Wilkerson is leading this year’s Best Import race after emerging as the elimination round’s top scorer with 37 points and 14 rebounds per game average.

“It is law of averages, I guess. We beat them during the elimination round although Wilkerson still scored 33 points in that game. I believe we can still do it,” added Guiao. “We just have to contain their shooters most of the time. I’m still confident that we can win the series.”

The 6’7 Henderson-Niles, Antoine Wright and Maurice Charlo, will be defending Rain or Shine’s frontline with support from Beau Belga, Jay-R Quinahan, Almazan, Jewel Ponferada, Jericho Cruz, rookie Maverick Ahanmisi, veteran Jireh Ibanez and Paul Lee.

“So far, Henderson-Niles is doing well and improving every game,” said Guiao.

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