AN UNFORTUNATE turn of events stalled Rain or Shine's bid to get back on track.
How the Elasto Painters parlay their pent-up emotions into game would be known Tuesday when they battle a Barangay Ginebra side hoping to do a quick turnaround in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Sports Arena in Angeles City.
Both protagonists are coming off tough losses and are eager to get back on track.
More so for Ginebra, which has coach Tim Cone openly admitting the team's immediate target is to finish the 11-game eliminations among the top four in order to gain a twice-to-beat advantage over a lower-ranked opponent in the eight-team quarterfinals.
Considering the Kings still have tough assignments in the likes of leader TNT, defending champion San Miguel Beer and Alaska coming up, getting back lost momentum is a must.
Rain or Shine was coming off an 88-89 cliffhanger to Alaska last Thursday and had an initial chance to bounce back last Monday. But its game against Blackwater was re-set to a later date after an Elite was considered as suspected case for the coronavirus.
The Blackwater player tested negative following confirmatory antigen and RT-PCR tests later Sunday.
So, the E-Painters must shift their attention now to the Gin Kings, whose seemingly irrepressible drive fell way short against Magnolia Ang Pambansang Manok last Sunday.
In a veritable reversal of roles, it was Ginebra which collapsed in the endgame while the Hotshots avoided that same trap they fell into in their last three losses to pull off a 102-92 victory that stopped their slide while cutting short the Kings' unbeaten start at just four games.
Still, Rain or Shine should have its hands full against a Ginebra crew that has Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio steadily gaining top form and Stanley Pringle, Scottie Thompson, Prince Caperal, Arvin Tolentino, Jeff Chan and Aljon Mariano usually dishing out good performances.
For coach Caloy Garcia and his charges to have a better chance, their offensive execution must withstand the pressure from the Kings while the E-Painters' collective effort on making stops should be solid.
That's where the likes of Javee Mocon, Rey Nambatac, James Yap, Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga, Jewel Ponferrada, rookie revelation Adrian Wong and the vastly improved Sydney Onwubere should come in. (NC)