Whopper, Painters shoot for quarters

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Whopper, Painters shoot for quarters Empty Whopper, Painters shoot for quarters

Games Wednesday (Araneta Coliseum)
5 p.m. — Burger King vs Alaska
7:30 p.m. — Rain or Shine vs Barako Bull

Relegated to the wildcard phase, twice-to-beat teams Burger King and Rain or Shine shoot for quarterfinals slots against separate foes Wednesday in the Motolite-PBA Fiesta Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The fourth-seeded Whopper clash with No. 9 Alaska Aces at 5 p.m., before the 7:30 p.m. encounter between the third-seeded Elasto Painters and No. 10 Barako Bull Energy Boosters.

Rain or Shine actually had a chance to earn the second and last automatic seat in the Final Four but they lost to defending champion Barangay Ginebra, 71-114, in their playoff game last Sunday.

Ginebra and leader San Miguel Beer (11-3) earned outright berths in the semifinals.

The Raymund Yu-Terry Que owned franchise, which downed Barako twice in their head-to-head meeting this reinforced conference, 91-83 last March 1 and 103-97 last May 13, is hoping to advance to the semis for the first time.

Even though Rain or Shine edged Barako Bull during the classification phase, coach Caloy Garcia said they’re not taking their opponent lightly.

"We can’t come out soft. We have to want to finish it in the first game," Garcia, who will rely anew in import Jai Lewis, as well as rookies Gabe Norwood and Sol Mercado, said. "We have to show character after the way we played against Ginebra."

Barako Bull rookie coach Leo Isaac, whose team had the worst record this conference at 2-12 and an eight-game losing skid, feels confident with their chances.

"Maganda ang pakiramdam namin para sa game bukas against Rain or Shine," Isaac, a former PBA player, said.

"Forget everything and just focus on tomorrow’s game. Who knows? Muntik na kaming manalo sa kanila nung nakaraan."

The winner of the Rain or Shine and Barako Bull game will advance to the best-of-three quarterfinals against the winner of the knockout match between No. 5 Sta. Lucia Realty and No. 8 Coca-Cola.

Equally exciting is the match-up between Burger King and Alaska, which lost to Coca-Cola, 74-81, that relegated the Aces to the ninth spot.

"We all know hindi naman mahinang team ang Alaska. They’re in their position (No. 9) right because of plain breaks," Burger King coach Yeng Guiao said. "They’re a finalist in the last All-Filipino Cup. Obviously their line up is a lot stronger and they have the experience."

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/node/202405
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