Crucial PBA games today

"Be careful with what you wish for."

That adage is already on the mind of Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao as they clash with Meralco at the close of the elimination round today which will also decide the placing for the No. 3 to No. 7 teams in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

As the second best team - next to the surprising Alaska Aces - the Painters are also assured of the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinal playoffs.

But unlike the Aces who are already scheduled to meet the No. 8 Air21 Express in the quarters, the Painters still don't know who they will be playing next.

This also leaves defending champion San Mig Coffee, Talk 'N Text, Ginebra and Meralco battling for placing in the No. 3 vs No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5 best-of-3 mini-series.

Will the Painters want a Meralco side which is healthy or a Ginebra squad which is struggling without its top gun Mark Caguioa?

If you ask Guiao, his answer is "Whoever."

Guiao said he wants to go the next round on a winning mode.

"We're not looking at that, kami kahit sino," said Guiao.

"What's more important for us is to win and not disrupt the flow. It's also good that we can have a momentum in the playoffs. So we're definitely going for the win," Guiao added.
The game between Rain or Shine (9-4) and Meralco (6-7) is set at 5:15 p.m. Talk 'N Text faces Petron Blaze at 7:30 p.m.

After last Sunday's game where TNT defeated Ginebra, 100-86, the Texters improved their record at 7-6 to tie the Boosters, just half-game behind the 8-6 Mixers, while the Kings ended the eliminations at 7-7.

This will be the second time this conference that the Painters will face the Bolts after a 91-82 win last Feb. 16.

"We want to give ourselves the best possible opportunity to make the Final Four," said Gregorio.
"Probability wise, a slot in the best-of-three quarters finish is only achievable if we win against them (Rain or Shine)," Gregorio added.

If Meralco wins and finish at 7-7, it will force a three-way tie with Ginebra and either TNT or Petron. If that happens, Ginebra will take No. 7 because of a lower quotient, while Meralco will play San Mig in the three-game series.

The two best-of-three quarterfinals will start Friday at the Big Dome, while the quarterfinals featuring the Top 2 teams will happen the following day at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.


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