by Jonas Terrado
Rain or Shine (ROS) looks to a more imposing stance against Magnolia when it guns for a commanding 3-0 lead in Game 3 of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters are determined to put a stranglehold on the series in the match slated 7 p.m. before the series takes a six-day hiatus for the Lenten season.
Getting a victory before the break could be a determining factor in the best-of-seven affair.
Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood gestures after he scores a 3-pointer during the PBA Philippine Cup Semifinals Game 2 against Magnolia at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on April 14, 2019 (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)
“I think that’s probably the key,” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia. “It’s hard if you lose to Magnolia before the one-week break, then they’ll be healthier and gain some confidence. For me, Game 3 is crucial for our team.”
Garcia’s team has outplayed the Hotshots with different players stepping up in Games 1 and 2.
Sunday’s 93-80 victory saw Norbert Torres and Ed Daquioag take charge with their offensive outputs while Kris Rosales and Mark Borboran, among a number of Rain or Shine players, provide stingy defense.
Their performances has somewhat eased the load on James Yap, who has averaged just 8.0 points on 6-of-24 shooting in the first two games.
“Kung titignan mo, kahit sinong huhugutin ni coach, nakaka-shoot at nakakadepensa (Every player coach has inserted can shoot or defend),” said Yap.
That is something Magnolia has yet to find an answer to since its resounding quarterfinal win against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel as the usual reliables have been either off or inconsistent.
The Hotshots are hoping to get their acts together though in the hopes of turning their fortunes around.
Meanwhile, defending champion San Miguel Beer was aiming to take a 2-0 lead over Phoenix Pulse in their game being played at press time at the Big Dome.
The Beermen took the series opener, 100-88, last Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Tags: CALOY GARCIA , Ed Daquioag , Kris Rosales , Mark Borboran , Norbert Torres , PBA , PBA news , PBA Philippine Cup , Phoenix Pulse , Rain or Shine , Rain or Shine Players , San Miguel Beer