Weary Purefoods faces well-rested Rain or Shine in series opener
Coming off an emotional 126-123 double-overtime win over the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters in their knockout wild card game Friday, the weary Giants get to test a well-rested Elasto Painters in the 6:30 p.m. main game of a Sunday doubleheader that also features Game 1 of the Burger King-Sta. Lucia quarterfinals match up set at 4:00 p.m.
“Unbelievable game," said Gregorio as he recalled several moments of the thrilling game that saw Kerby Raymundo knocked in miraculous 3-pointer to send the match into extra period. Then, when the Giants were up by 114-102 with 1:45 left, the Texters knocked in four straight triples to extend the match into another overtime.
“Hopefully we have enough legs to battle them," he added, noting how his team only have less than 48 hours to prepare against Rain or Shine. “We are determined to go to the next level and we can only do so if we subdue them."
One piece of good news which greeted Gregorio and his Giants is the expected absence of Rain or Shine high-scoring rookie Sol Mercado, who pulled his right hamstring in the Elasto Painters’ 96-88 win over Barako Bull last Wednesday.
Team insiders said the stocky shooting guard is likely out of action at least for a week.
Rain or Shine and Purefoods met only once in the elimination round. The result favored the Elasto Painters, who won in their March 21 encounter to the tune of 110-90.
Burger King, meanwhile, successfully made a trade before deadline Saturday acquiring Carlo Sharma from Barako Bull in exchange for Chad Alonzo.
The Whoppers advanced in the second round of the playoffs by turning back Alaska, 96-90, last Wednesday.
Sta. Lucia, which defeated Coca-Cola only last Friday, will play without Kelly Williams, who is still recovering from a rare blood disorder.
Anthony Johnson is the one expected to carry much of the Realtors’ scoring load. Against the Tigers, he scored 42 points and a grabbed a conference-high 24 rebounds.
But coach Boyet Fernandez still has a lot of problems ahead of him. “Burger King is a run-and-gun team, and that’s the primary problem we have, on how to stop their fastbreaks. Second, I will be pitted against a great coach in coach Yeng." – GMANews.TV