R-Warriors play Painters; Gin Kings tangle with Elite.
TWO of the teams on a hot run play separate opponents on a terrible skid as the PBA Governors’ Cup elimination round enters its crucial phase today at the Cuneta Astrodome.
NLEX battles Rain or Shine in the first game at 4:30 p.m. while Ginebra goes up against Blackwater in the 7 p.m. main offering as the two hottest teams seek to keep their hot streaks going in the season-ending conference.
In a stark contrast to their campaign in the season’s first two conferences where they were eliminated, the Road Warriors have been doing pretty well this conference, thanks to admirable jobs of import Manny Harris and playmaker Kiefer Ravena who had returned after serving the FIBA-imposed 18-month suspension.
As if to underscore their seriousness, the Road Warriors even opted to change their import, Olo Ashaulo, despite excellent job for the team early in the elimination.
The decision proved a nice one because the replacement, Manny Harris, has been living up to the expectation.
Harris debuted with 45 points in NLEX’s 117-111 win over Columbian last Oct. 16, then followed it up with almost the same performance in the Road Warriors’ 126-113 toppling of Talk ‘N Text where he scored 40 points aside from grabbing six rebounds and issuing nine assists.
Ravena on the other hand has been averaging 17 points, 5 rebounds and nine assists, becoming one of top performers for the Road Warriors.
Currently toting a 6-1 win-loss slate, the Road Warriors are now eyeing their fourth straight victory that will put them on top of the heap.
The Gin Kings are also on a roll with three straight victories capped by a 98-89 whipping of the Elasto Painters last Oct. 26 in a game where Justin Brownlee tallied 39 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists.
Another victory today will put the Gin Kings in a tie with Meralco for third and fourth places, although the task is easier said than done, especially since Blackwater – like any other team in the pro-league – has the capability to pull off surprises.
The Elite, who have lost their last three outings, are hogging the cellar at 2-6 in a tie with RoS and Phoenix.