Rain or Shine tries to stop Air21’s giant-killing ways and reclaim a piece of the lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations when both squads clash at the resumption of action at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Gametime is 4:15 p.m. with the Elasto Painters hoping to climb into a tie for the lead with the idle Alaska Aces and creep closer to a top two berth that will given them a huge advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Painters will be coming off a lopsided win over Petron Blaze and are installed as the solid picks even as San Mig Coffee, the defending champion, tries to wriggle out of a five-team logjam for fourth spot when it mixes it up with Barako Bull at 6:30 p.m.
A win would move the Painters within two more victories of the hypothetical number of 10 wins needed to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
But it won’t be easy with Rain or Shine needing to shut down the impressive Air21 import Michael Dunigan.
Dunigan has so far been the barometer among imports in the tournament, carrying the Express on his mighty shoulders and making everyone in the squad look good in the process.
Rain or Shine’s advantage rests on its locals, with the likes of Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, Jeff Chan and rookie Chris Tiu all capable of putting up big numbers.
Import Bruno Sundov would have to stay out of foul trouble if he hopes to slug it out with Dunigan from the opening tip until the final buzzer. Otherwise, the 6-foot-9 Air21 reinforcement could wreck havoc underneath and give the Painters a load of problems.
Air21 will come into the game taking a franchise-best four-game winning streak.
Barako Bull is within another loss of the exit, making its battle with the Mixers tonight an all-important tiff.