MANILA, Philippines – The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Meralco Bolts both aim to stay in the playoff hunt of the PBA Commissioners' Cup when they take on each other Sunday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
Rain or Shine is at the bottom of the team standings with a 1-4 win-loss record, while the Bolts are just ahead with a 2-4 slate.
With only the top six teams qualifying for playoff slots, both the E-Painters and the Bolts are searching for victory in tonight’s game to remain in the hunt for a post-season berth.
"Both teams will fight to avert extinction," Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio told PBA.ph. "We want to keep on playing."
But he is wary of Rain or Shine, calling the team “desperate.” “That makes them a dangerous opponent,” he added.
Rain or Shine's lone victory came during their Dubai trip, a 99-95 win over the Barako Bull Energy.
Meanwhile, the Bolts stayed alive after an 89-80 upset over the Barangay Ginebra Kings last March 7.
Gregorio said his team will focus on defense against the Elasto Painters, which feature a high-octane offense.
"Our defense will be given greater emphasis against a high-scoring team like Rain or Shine. We had tremendous success against Ginebra because we limited them to only 80 points," he said.
"The same kind of defensive intensity is required against Rain or Shine," Gregorio added.
The Bolts are aiming to make the post-season for the first time since making it to the quarterfinals of the PBA Philippine Cup in the 2010-2011 season.