The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (5-2) will face the NLEX Road Warriors (3-4) on Tuesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. NLEX recently ended their losing streak at the expense of Blackwater, with big man Asi Taulava making an impressive performance (24 points, ten rebounds, and five assists) that excited the crowd in Antipolo City. ROS, on the other hand, have gained momentum with their three consecutive wins coming into their last few tough matchups in the elimination round.
As with their previous victories, defense will be key for Coach Yeng Guiao’s squad, who are currently second best in terms of defensive rating or points allowed per 100 possessions (89.7 percent), while the Road Warriors are second worst (100.7 percent). They especially need to contain Taulava inside the paint and be wary of other scoring weapons in Mac Cardona and Aldrech Ramos.
It’s a huge blow for the Elasto Painters that Jervy Cruz will be out for weeks after sustaining a calf injury in their last game. Gabe Norwood, who has been struggling offensively since the start of the season, will be crucial as he fills the four spot that Cruz will vacate. Meanwhile, it’s good news that Ryan Arana and Chris Tiu are expected to finally suit up after missing several matches also due to injuries.
I want to predict another Rain or Shine blowout win, but I’ve got a feeling NLEX will be putting up a good fight.
TV: LIVE ON TV5 AND AKSYONTV
RADIO: RADYO5 92.3 NEWS FM AND DZSR 918 KHZ AM
ARENA: SMART-ARANETA COLISEUM
Featured image courtesy of Mark Cristino, Pinoy Exchange