WILL the second time be lucky for the Elasto Painters or will the Beermen carry the momentum of their stunning Game 3 victory?
For the second time, Rain or Shine shoots for a berth in the finals, while San Miguel looks to live another another day as the powerhouses resume their best-of-five semifinal war tomorrow in the 2016 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.
Still with a 2-1 series lead, the Elasto Painters get a second chance to enter the finals as they face the Beermen again in Game 4 Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m.
Despite failing to move over to the big stage in its first shot in Game 3, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao’s confidence isn’t shattered a bit.
“We just postponed our trip to the finals. My feeling is we’ll get there,” said Guiao. “Actually, parang may twice-to-beat advantage pa rin naman kami ngayon.”
On the other hand, San Miguel coach Leo Austria is likewise in high spirits despite the Beermen’s import issue.
“I want to praise my players. They really want to win despite our situation,” said Austria. “What I want from them to continue is to just play our game and focus. We still have a chance and we’ll take it one game at a time.”
For Game 4 and onwards, the Beermen will be calling on a familiar face for them and for the Painters, AZ Reid, a former Best Import that gave San Miguel its Governors’ Cup title last season, is back to reinforce his squad against his former team.
Even without an import, San Miguel Beer once again flaunted its survival skills.
The Beermen rode Marcio Lassiter’s hot hand in Game 3 to avoid elimination and fight through with a 104-98 victory last Thursday night.
San Miguel, who parted ways with enigmatic import Tyler Wilkerson a few hours prior to Game 3 following an outburst after Game 2, drew 30 points from Lassiter, who caught fire at the right time.
Meanwhile, Alaska and Meralco are going hard at it against each other as they are currently in the middle of battle, as of this report, to see who gets a 2-1 upperhand in their own semis series.
Game Sunday (Semis, Game 4 – Smart Araneta Coliseum)
5 p.m. – San Miguel vs. Rain or Shine