(Ynares Sports Arena)
12:30 p.m — San Miguel vs Blackwater
3:00 p.m — Rain or Shine vs Alaska
6:00 p.m — Phoenix vs Meralco
Undefeated Rain or Shine aims to distance itself from the main pack when it tangles with Alaska as action in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup intensifies at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Elasto Painters seek to extend their winning streak to four in the 3 p.m. encounter that will be preceded by the 12:30 p.m. clash involving San Miguel and Blackwater.
Rain or Shine and Magnolia are two of the hottest squads right now but the Elasto Painters get the opportunity to take the solo lead.
The last time it played, Rain or Shine scored a huge 85-72 win over erstwhile unbeaten Meralco.
Third year forward Javee Mocon delivered 18 points, six rebounds and six assists, while veteran bruiser Beau Belga also provided a double-double display of 17 points and 10 rebounds as the team flashed its fangs offensively and defensively.
And for head coach Chris Gavina, their chance to take their fourth straight victory will boil down to execution.
The most prepared teams are the most hardworking teams.
“Honestly, my expectations were just like any other teams, extremely high. And it really comes down to our preparations,” head coach Chris Gavina said.
“Our players are really committed towards preparations. The most prepared teams are the most hardworking teams.”
But Alaska is determined to pull themselves out from a dangerous slump.
Coming off a big opening win against Blackwater, the Aces saw themselves crashing due to back-to-back losses to Hotshots and Phoenix last week.
The team remains determined to put themselves in a better position against Rain or Shine, especially with the impressive showing of their newly-acquired big man Youssef Taha and Abu Tratter.
Taha, who was signed by the Aces during the off-season, has been leading the squad’s offense with 15 points and 9.67 rebounds per game, followed by Tratter who has been averaging 13 points and eight rebounds in three matches.
San Miguel, meanwhile, will attempt to extend its momentum despite missing the absence of star guard Terrence Romeo due to knee injury.
Beermen coach Leo Austria said his wards are still ready to wage a war, with a solid lineup led by CJ Perez, Alex Cabagnot, Arwind Santos and June Mar Fajardo.
“There’s no timeline for his return yet, but sooner or later, he’ll be joining us. We want him to get back to his 100 percent,” Austria said.
“Our players keep on supporting every player who could play well. That’s the beauty of our game.”