MANILA, Philippines Commissioner’s Cup champion Talk n Text, Barako Bull and Alaska Milk try to preserve their clean slates while Rain or Shine hopes to bounce back from a losing tournament debut as they figure in a Friday double-header in the PBA Governors Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo Friday night.
The Tropang Texters and the Energy Cola face off at 4:15 p.m. then the Aces and the Elasto Painters square off at 7 p.m. to usher in the first Petron Blaze PBA Fuel on Tour Saturday series in Dipolog City pitting the Barangay Ginebra Kings versus the Blackwater Elite.
This is the last local swing for the Gin Kings and the Elasto Painters before joining the Globalport Batang Pier in a trip to United Arab Emirates for two games in Dubai on May 21 and 22. ROS and Globalport slug it out on the 21st then the E-Painters and the Gin Kings mix it up the following day.
In Antipolo today, Barako Bull and Alaska set out for battle against the Commissioner’s Cup finalists, both gunning for a third straight win.
In another promising start, the Energy Cola, with 7-0 import Liam McMorrow, outfought the NLEX Road Warriors, 101-96, then clobbered the Blackwater Elite, 105-90.
The Romeo Travis-led Aces, on the other hand, trounced the Elite, 106-80, then upended the Gin Kings, 108-99.
The Texters were impressive with their 95-91 decision over the Gin Kings fashioned out barely 10 days after ruling the Commissioner’s Cup and with a lineup shorthanded by the absence of core players Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, Kevin Alas, Aaron Aban and Ryan Reyes.
The E-Painters, the second conference losing finalists, couldn’t match the effort of the Texters, dropping their first game in the Governors Cup versus the San Miguel Beermen, 91-104.
Even then, Alaska coach Alex Compton is wary of Rain or Shine.
“Rain or Shine has been consistently one of the best teams in the PBA over the past few years,” said Compton. “They play hard and they play with their depth and their rotation of players. They’re a threat every conference.
The Energy Cola look to match their 3-0 start last conference but they expect an uphill battle against the Texters.
“They have a very good American import (Steffphon Pettigrew) and Asian reinforcement (Sam Daghles). They have a big lineup this conference. The only height advantage we have is with our import,” said Barako coach Coy Banal.
“I’m hoping Jayson Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo still won’t play. We just want to stay basic so we can stay close with them until the end,” Banal added.