Rain or Shine tries to establish the longest winning streak in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and gain a piece of the lead in the process when the hot Elasto Painters slug it out with the suddenly struggling Talk ‘N Text squad today at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The match is set at 7:30 p.m. with the Painters seeking a sixth straight victory in their clash against the Texters, who will be playing just their second game with returning import Donnell Harvey.
Rain or Shine currently shares the tournament streak record with idle Alaska and Petron, but it would also give the Painters a piece of top spot with the Aces, who show the way with a 6-1 mark.
Talk ‘N Text parted ways with NBA veteran Keith Benson after a 2-3 record and paraded Harvey in a road game in Legazpi City last Saturday where the Tropang Texters barely scraped past Barako Bull, 101-98.
Harvey, who also came in as a replacement last year but went all the way to the Finals series against San Mig Coffee, scored just eight points in that game.
Barako Bull, incidentally, will try to snap out of a three-game losing streak in the 5:15 p.m. game against dangerous Meralco.
Rain or Shine has won its last three games even with the towering Bruno Sundov providing little help in the endgame because of foul trouble as different men stepped up for coach Yeng Guiao.
With Jeff Chan out of commission, the Painters keep on getting big games from unexpected sources with Gabe Norwood and Chris Tiu turning heroes in the last Rain or Shine win where they scored 21 points in the fourth period.
Both teams play hard-nosed defense and have tendencies to play run-and-gun when opportunities arise.
Sundov, though, must make himself useful in this endgame and give the Painters an intimidating presence in the paint in a match that will mark these two squads’ first clash since Talk ‘N Text swept Rain or Shine in the Philippine Cup Finals.
Rain or Shine and Talk ‘N Text both have great stoppers in Norwood and Jireh Ibañes for the Painters and Ryan Reyes and Jared Dillinger for the Texters.
Rabeh Al-Hussaini will be coming off his finest game as a Texter after he made his first nine field goal attempts to finish with 19 points in Legazpi.