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Rain or Shine, Alaska fan hopes for top finish


By John Bryan Ulanday

Rain or Shine and Alaska try to keep their top two hopes alive in a clash tonight in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Action kicks off at 7 pm with the Elasto Painters aiming to formalize their entry into the quarterfinals with a potential top two finish against the suddenly skidding Aces in the last week of the season-opening conference's elimination round.
Playoffs-bound San Miguel Beer also (7-2) wants to virtually clinch one of the two twice-to-beat incentives against also-ran KIA in the first game at 4:30 pm.
Coming off a huge 101-95 win over fellow top two hopeful Magnolia, the rampaging Elasto Painters have full control of their future.
But while the Elasto Painters are currently ranked third in the team standings, they have yet to make the playoffs until they reach six wins which San Miguel, Magnolia, Alaska, NLEX have already accomplished.
But they still also have a shot in stealing one of the top two spots should they survive a gruelling stretch of three games in eight days which starts with the Aces.
After Alaska, also waiting to test Rain or Shine's mettle are no less than powerhouse teams San Miguel Beer on February 28 and Barangay Ginebra on March 2.
Rain or Shine also hopes to have sufficient steam saved in is tank as it is coming off a 13-day break since their huge out-of-town win over the Hotshots in Calasiao, Pangasinan on February 10.
Fresh from a 96-109 loss to San Miguel last Saturday, quarterfinalist Alaska, meanwhile, wants to end its campaign on a winning note to have a fighting chance for the twice-to-beat reward.
Even if it wins, Alaska does not have a hold on its top two dream as it will have to wait before it could determine its seeding in the next round.


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