By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
HAVING opened their Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup campaign with two straight losses, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters look to break through the win column when they take on the Alaska Aces today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Set for 7 p.m., the Elasto Painters (0-2) are parading a new import in Terrence Watson when they collide with the Aces (3-1), replacing original import J’Nathan Bullock.
Rain or Shine said they are going for more ceiling in bringing in Mr. Watson, who played last season for the San Miguel Beermen.
The most recent of the losses of the E-Painters was against the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok, 92-76, on Sept. 26 where they had a slow start from which they could not recover from.
Mr. Bullock only had 15 points in said game with Gabe Norwood adding 12 of his own and Maverick Ahanmisi and Ed Daquioag finishing with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Mr. Watson was also a replacement import for San Miguel in the same tournament last season and led the Beermen to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champions Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings.
Out to keep Rain or Shine winless in the season-ending PBA tournament are the Aces, who are coming off a long layoff, having played last on Sept. 2 and losing to Barangay Ginebra, 109-101.
Import Mike Harris is leading the Aces with averages of 21.3 points, 17.3 rebounds and a steal.
Backstopping him is guard Chris Banchero who has been good for 17 points, 9.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game while Vic Manuel and Simon Enciso have been chipping in 16 points apiece a game.
The Aces are currently at solo fourth place heading into today’s contest.
Preceding the Alaska-Rain or Shine game is the clash between Magnolia (4-1) and Columbian Dyip (0-6) at 4:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Meralco Bolts came up short in their attempt to barge into finals of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup, losing to Petrochimi of Iran, 79-74, in the semifinals on Monday night in Thailand.
The loss relegated the Bolts, which represented the Philippines in the tournament, in the battle for bronze later yesterday against SK Knights of South Korea.