July 22, 2018, 11:31 pm
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Aces, Batang Pier go for semis slots

RAIN or Shine put in a lot of work during the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations and got amply rewarded.

The Elasto Painters need to sustain their workmanlike efforts when they face the equally determined GlobalPort Batang Pier today in their quarterfinals duel at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

After emerging as the eliminations topnotcher, Rain or Shine needs only to win once over eighth-ranked GlobalPort to make it through to the semifinals.

Second-seed Alaska totes the same advantage when it battles No. 7 Magnolia in the nightcap.

E-Painters coach Caloy Garcia could might have been speaking for Aces counterpart Alex Compton when he said: “We have to want it more. We cannot think about the twice-to-beat advantage.” 

Garcia has ample reason to be wary.

Notwithstanding their finish in the eliminations, the Batang Pier have been the epitome of tenacity in the mid-season conference, among their victims the likes of pre-tournament favorites San Miguel Beer and Meralco.

It’s just a matter of putting together one solid stretch, which GlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio hopes would come in the playoffs and more so against Rain or Shine.  

“We have to play consistent good basketball for 48 minutes, defensively and offensively, versus Rain or Shine,” said Jarencio.

Garcia shrugged off his team’s 96-90 win over GlobalPort in their meeting last May 20, stressing the need for his charges to concentrate on the task at hand.

“We just have to be focused on the game,” maintained Garcia. “We worked hard to be where we want. GlobalPort is a tough physical team and we have to match that.”

In contrast, Jarencio has drawn some lessons from that loss, particularly his charges learning to keep their emotions in check.  

In that fiercely-fought game, tempers repeatedly flared with Chris Tiu getting his mouth bloodied by a Malcolm White elbow, Kelly Nabong and Maverick Ahanmisi getting ejected and Raymond Almazan and White also figuring in a late game fracas. 
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