Rain or Shine will be gunning for a third straight win and a share of the lead in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup when it faces Blackwater on Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
The Elasto Painters opened with wins over the NLEX Road Warriors and Barangay Ginebra Kings. The Elite, on the other hand, are winless so far following defeats to the NorthPort Batang Pier and the Meralco Bolts.
ROS coach Caloy Garcia wants his players to treat every game as a "must win", even when up against a Blackwater side that lost veterans John Paul Erram, Nard Pinto and gunner Paul Zamar during the offseason.
"We just have to treat every game as a must-win because we know that all teams are tough," Garcia said ahead of the 7 p.m. game versus Blackwater. "We just have to be ready to play every game."
Veteran slotman Raymond Almazan continues to be a game-time decision, though Norbert Torres has ably filled in, averaging 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in Rain or Shine's 2-0 start.
Blackwater coach Bong Ramos said his team is not making any excuses after a 26-point defeat to NorthPort and five-point loss to Meralco.
"Whoever is in our lineup, we will make do with that," said Ramos, whose team is trying to integrate rookies Paul Desiderio and Abu Tratter, along with Gelo Alolino and Joseph Eriobu.
Gunning for win No. 3
After falling 0-2 to start the season, TNT has back-to-back wins over NLEX and four-time Philippine Cup titlist San Miguel Beer.
With momentum on their side, the KaTropa will be aiming for a third straight victory when they face the Meralco Bolts in a 4:30 p.m. game.
Young forward Troy Rosario has looked strong for TNT after suffering a broken nose in the offseason.
The former National U standout delivered 22 points and five rebounds, while lacing his impressive game with six 3-pointers as TNT beat San Miguel 104-93 last Sunday.
Combo guard Jayson Castro remains the heart and soul of the KaTropa as evidenced by his per-game averages of 17 points, 7.75 assists, 3.75 rebounds and 2.25 steals.
The Bolts enter the game with a 1-2 record, their lone win a 99-94 decision over the Elite.