MANILA, Philippines - All four protagonists, a good mix of old champion ballclubs and emerging powers, have expressed readiness for the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals which fires off tomorrow at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Powerade Tigers believe they have all bases covered two days before the start of their best-of-seven showdown.
The Talk n Text Tropang Texters and the Petron Blaze Boosters are pumped-up, both raring to come out in their own semis duel which begins Friday.
The Texters hope to be the first team in almost three decades to successfully defend the all-Filipino crown, the Boosters are out to follow up their Governors Cup championship while the Elasto Painters and the Tigers are both determined to nail down a breakthrough win.
“Our game plan is in place. We’re ready,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.
“Our team is excited. We are about to experience a semifinals appearance for the first time in so many years,” said Powerade coach Bo Perasol.
All four semifinalists worked hard during the holidays to be in the best shape possible for the Final Four grind.
“We only took a break on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Greenhorns as we are, we will not err on the side of exerting our fullest effort and truly believing in our capability as a team,” said Perasol.
The Elasto Painters rested for four days but Guiao is convinced they’ve made the right preparation against the Tigers.
“We’ll just do little walkthroughs of our plays tomorrow (today),” Guiao said.
Powerade main man Gary David said they’ve done the same.
“Kasado na,” said David. “We’re ready with our defensive and offensive plans.”
Both the Elasto Painters and the Tigers have no health woes. Guiao’s little concern is the status of JR Quinahan for Game Two.
Quinahan is definitely playing Games One and Three but is doubtful for Game Two as he’s flying to Cebu Thursday for his wedding.
The Tigers are just ready to come out.
Right at his playing weight of 180 pounds, David believes he’s in the best condition to take on any defender to be thrown at him by Rain or Shine.
“I just took a look at my weight. I’m right there at 180. That’s my playing weight, and I feel I’m at peak form,” said David, the league top scorer averaging 22.5 points an outing.
“Right after they (Rain or Shine) beat Ginebra to make the semifinals, I’ve prepared myself against them. It’s going to be a physical game and I’ll be ready,” David also said.
“I anticipate what they’re saying that they’ll put taller, quicker and physical defenders on me. But I don’t think it’s just me against Rain or Shine. Marcio Lassiter, Jvee Casio and my other teammates are now also at peak form,” David added. -