SMB meets dangerous Rain or Shine

John Bryan Ulanday - The Philippine Star
SMB meets dangerous Rain or Shine
SMB mentor Leo Austria.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel vs Rain or Shine Fresh from a huge bounceback win, San Miguel Beer wants no let-up against a struggling but still lethal Rain or Shine as the Beermen try to shore up their playoff bonus drive in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Currently sharing top spot with sibling rival Barangay Ginebra, the Beermen troop to the 6 p.m. match with extra precaution in a bid to move closer to the twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.

“Of course, the target is a top two finish so every game for us is important. That will determine kung saan kami makakarating. We’re taking it one game at a time but against Rain or Shine, hindi ka puwedeng mag-relax,” SMB mentor Leo Austria told The STAR.

After a hot 3-0 start, the Beermen last week took their first scar in a 75-72 loss to the Gin Kings before quickly getting back on track with a 111-92 trashing of new PBA franchise Converge.

Austria is banking on that 19-point win to provide the momentum for SMB as the teams start to jockey for playoff positions with just a handful games to play for each team in the single-round eliminations.

“The danger against ROS is they’re looking for a win at 1-4. It’s a very dangerous situation for them so we’re expecting a high intensity match. We’re bracing for an all-out battle,” he added.

ROS, indeed, is hell-bent on catching the big fish in SMB to revive its playoff hopes after a four-game slump at 11th place with a 1-4 record. The Elasto Painters notched their first win against Converge but went on to fold against NorthPort, Ginebra, Phoenix and TNT.

Meanwhile, streaking TNT (5-2) goes for a fourth straight win to stay on the coattails of Ginebra and SMB when it tackles NorthPort (2-3) in the 3 p.m. curtain-raiser.

The Batang Pier are determined  to arrest their own three-game losing spell and stay in the thick of the playoff race.



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