RoS, Magnolia dispute last Finals spot

Rain or Shine and Magnolia battle each other for a championship berth tonight in a sudden-death Game 7 showdown in the best-of-seven semifinals series of Season 44 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

After tying the series to 3-3 with a huge 91-81 win in Game 6 last Friday in Antipolo City behind the effort made by Rey Nambatac and James Yap, the Elasto Painters are eyeing to hit the jackpot in their 6:30 p.m. encounter with the Hotshots.

The winner will face defending champion San Miguel Beer on May 1 at the start of the Finals.

Rain or Shine Caloy Garcia said he instructed his players prior to Game 6 to keep playing their usual game, but nonetheless expect a tough performance by the Hotshots this Sunday.

Rey Nambatac of Rain or Shine goes for a lay-up against Rodney Brondial of Magnolia during Game 6 of their best-of-seven semifinals duel of Season 44 PBA Philippine Cup match last Friday at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City. PBA MEDIA BUREAU PHOTO

“I just told the players to enjoy the game, be relaxed, and it worked. So coming Game 7, hopefully we do the same thing,” said Garcia, noting they are in a 50-50 situation in Game 7 and should not play overconfident.

Nambatac was a big factor in Rain or Shine’s Game 6 victory after scoring 13 of his 16 points in the last quarter, while the two-time Most Valuable Player Yap also tallied with 16 points.

“In Game 7, we really need to play as a team because [the game] needs teamwork. You can’t play that game on your own. No relaxing in Game 7,” said the veteran Yap, also a former Magnolia player.


The last time Rain or Shine bagged a title was in 2016 when it won the Commissioner’s Cup under former coach Yeng Guiao.

Meanwhile, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero said everything was still positive despite being in similar situations before.

“At least there is a Game 7,” said Victolero, who drew 19 and 18 points from Ian Sangalang and Paul Lee in Game 6, respectively. “We will be ready and we’ll make minor adjustments. But it’s all about the will and the desire of the players.”

“Hopefully, we can survive this Game 7,” he said.


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The post RoS, Magnolia dispute last Finals spot appeared first on The Manila Times Online.

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