Following two straight losses, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters knew that they can’t let up versus the Meralco Bolts, since they’re eager to snag one of the Top Two spots that will help them in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals.
So the Elasto Painters did what had been needed to be done.
Even if they lost hold a 13-point lead, Rain or Shine’s ability to close out games had been in full display, as they survived the Bolts and walked away from the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City with a narrow 88-85 victory in the bag.
“Coming into this game pumasok sa isip namin na may chance kami for Top Two, kaya siguro all out lahat. Ito nakuha namin yung game,” lauded James Yap, who led the Elasto Painters’ balanced attack with 14 points.
The Elasto Painters have successfully ended their elimination round campaign with a 7-3 record, and with that comes a good chance of them finishing on one of the Top Two spots that merits a win-once incentive for the quarterfinals.
But a challenge is on the horizon.
As good as being the first team to finish the elimination may seem, Rain or Shine will now be waiting for nearly three weeks before the quarterfinals start — the playoffs is projected to commence on the first week of April.
Yap knows that the long break might be detrimental more than beneficial for the team, so it’s up to the whole Elasto Painters on how will they take it.
“Sa tagal ng pahinga, crucial sa’min ‘to pa’no kami magpapakundisyon, baka mangalawang. Siguro as a professional player ‘di ka pwede magpabaya sa katawan, pakundisyon pa rin,” said the 37-year-old guard.
“Crucial ‘to kasi April ata first game so medyo matagal talaga. Kailangan yung alaga sa katawan, yung kundisyon kailangan andun.”