With great excitement, the Cinderella team of the Philippine Cup plunges back into action, debuting in the PBA Commissioner Cup Friday night.
Powerade, the biggest overachiever in the all-Filipino tourney making the finals against eventual champion Talk n Text, takes on Rain or Shine in an rematch of their fierce semifinal showdown last conference.
Game time is 7:30 p.m. at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Both had a great run in the Philippine Cup, later colliding in a classic semis series that lasted the full seven-game distance.
The Tigers took Game Seven to set up a championship duel with the Tropang Texters.
“We have to be careful not to put to waste whatever gains we have achieved last conference,”
said Powerade coach Bo Perasol. “The reality is we have to battle every game. We had our best
performance the last time only because we fought hard and we struggled as one.”
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao and his chargers have put behind them the first conference.
“We expect better cohesion given more time to practice with our import. We didn’t step up
defensively the last game. It also gets frustrating when we can’t convert shots we expect to
make,” said Guiao whose team started the Commissioner’s Cup the same way they ended the
Philippine Cup – on a losing note.
The Elasto Painters yielded to the Alaska Milk Aces, 102-109, Sunday.
Super rookies Marcio Lassiter, Jvee Casio and Paul Lee again take the spotlight.
Lassiter, however, could well draw the biggest attention as he plays with his fate hanging in the balance.
Still up for approval by PBA commissioner Chito Salud is the Powerade-Petron trade involving
Lassiter, Noy Baclao and Rey Guevarra.
“Marcio is as competitive as ever. He understands his situation,” said Perasol.
His teammates are glad he’s still with the team. The Tigers are hoping the trade won’t push
Lassiter made a big impact in the Philippine Cup, figuring in the race for the Best Player of the Conference that eventually went to teammate Gary David.
David hopes to sustain his fiery performance as he looks forward to another strong showing by
Powerade in the mid-season tourney with the help of import Dwayne Clinton Jones.
“Tingin ko malaki maitutulong sa amin ng import namin,” said David of their 6-foot-11 find, a
product of St. Joseph U who had stints with the Boston Celtics, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the
Orlando Magic, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Charlotte Bobcats and the Phoenix Suns from 2005 to
In his PBA debut, Jones will be up against Duke Crews.
A late RoS import replacement, Crews played his first game in the local pro league with hardly a
preparation with the team. Nonetheless, the short but high-leaping player logged impressive numbers of 34 points and 11 rebounds.
The Elasto Painters hope to draw even better performance from Crews Friday. (SB)