ROS on a mission
A well-deserved break finally comes next for the weary.
After playing seven games in just over three weeks and wresting the elimination round lead in the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round, Rain or Shine buckles down to work again and will try to match the conference’s longest winning streak.
Only after a tough outing against perennial contender Magnolia at 7 p.m. at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay on Wednesday can Rain or Shine think about cooling their heels a bit.
“We cannot be complacent,” Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia said shortly after taking over top spot from Phoenix Pulse on Sunday to win a fourth straight game, sounding off the need to win as many games as possible heading into the playoffs.
“We know it’s only going to get harder every game. We have to look at what’s going [well] right now, but we also have to look at what’s going wrong.”
Aside from ROS, four-time defending champion San Miguel Beer also has seven games so far as the tournament takes a two-week break starting Thursday to give way to Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign in the Fiba World Cup Qualifying series.
Garcia would like nothing more than a winning feeling when they go into respite. But he knows it won’t be a cakewalk.
“It’s going to be difficult because we know throughout the conference, they’re only going to get better,” Garcia said of the Hotshots, the Governors’ Cup champions.
At 6-1, the Elasto Painters could put a lock on a quarterfinal berth with a win against the Hotshots, who opened the conference with two straight defeats.
“When we win, we want different players stepping up,” Garcia said. “Right now, everybody’s stepping up. We’re not looking at only one person, we’re looking at it as a team effort.”
Alaska also looks to get a streak going when they tackle a struggling Blackwater in the curtain-raiser at 4:30 p.m.
“I thought pretty much the whole game we were energetic and all over the place,” coach Alex Compton said after last week’s ripping of Columbian, 94-72, despite four of his starters out because of different injuries.
“We were covering ground and getting loose balls—the things that really matter,” he said. “We like the hustle and the grit and the grind.”
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