(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:15 p.m. -- NLEX vs. Globalport
7 p.m. -- San Miguel vs. Rain or Shine
THE last outing brought difficult times to San Miguel Beer, which barely survived sister team Barangay Ginebra last Sunday.
Prior to that, the Beermen won a couple of games in lopsided fashion.
Now, the two-time defending champions are expected to have another rough sailing as it plays a Rain or Shine team which, coach Leo Austria said, has a goal similar to the Beermen’s in the elimination round of the PBA Philippine Cup.
“It will be hard-fought dahil yung Rain or Shine ay may goal na makuha ang top two. I think tomorrow’s game very crucial dahil sila (Rain or Shine) mayron din chance na maka top two. Pipilitin nila iyan,” said SMB coach Leo Austria in a phone conversation with People’s Journal/Tonight after the Beermen’s light workout at the Acropolis gym.
Austria added he is expecting Rain or Shine, Globalport and Talk ‘N Text to give their best and get into the top two.
The Beermen are carrying the momentum of their 72-70 win over the Gin Kings as they take on the Elasto Painters in the 7 p.m. main offering of another explosive Friday the 13th double-header at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Beermen will gun for their eight win in nine outings, win that will, in the words of Austria, bolster their chances of taking one of the two.
“I think, iyung mananalo bukas, ay mayroong malaki chances na maka top two, kaya pilitin yan ng Rain or Shine. Pero pagka nanalo kami, lalakas ang chance namin dahil mahirap na sa ibang teams ang maka-walo,” explained Austria.
The Elasto Painters are running second at 5-2, and Austria said they are in for a tough outing in the game as RoS, he added, has one of the teams with the best line-ups.
The Painters will also be without its best big man Raymond Almazan.
Almazan is set to miss his third straight game due to a calf injury.
“He was cleared to play, but then nung practice nung Tuesday, medyo nararamdaman pa rin niya yung pain, so we just told him to stop muna,” Painters coach Caloy Garcia said.
“He has to rest,” he added. “I think medyo tatagal pa siya ng konti, kasi medyo pabalik-balik yung injury, so I just told him it’s better for him to rest, kasi bata pa siya eh, so mahirap na pilit-pilitin, baka matuluyan pa.”
In their game against Gin Kings, the Beermen found difficult times, more because of the tough defensive strategy used against them.
As a result, only Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot and Ronald Tubid managed to finish in double figures.
June Mar Fajardo, who scored 25 points when the Beermen demolished Blackwater earlier, was limited to just nine points.
Globalport Batang Pier, which is still in contention for the top two with its 4-3 record, takes on NLEX in the first game at 4:15 p.m.
The Batang Pier are coming off a 97-89 win over Meralco while the Road Warriors have breathed new life in their own bid to make the next round by beating Talk ‘N Text, 110-98, last Saturday in Angeles City.