Rain or Shine takes on Meralco in the PBA Philippine Cup tonight at the MOA Arena, hoping to stay afloat while facing some distractions brought about by discontentment by some players.
The Elasto Painters seek to regain a piece of fourth place with the TNT KaTropaTexters at 4-3 while the Bolts (2-4) look to avert further slide as they slug it out at 7 p.m.
The E-Painters currently share fifth place with the Barangay Ginebra Kings and the GlobalPortBatang Pier at 3-3, having won their last game against the NLEX Road Warriors despite the growing disenchantment of certain players with coachCaloy Garcia.
Raymond Almazan and Jericho Cruz are both vocal in their desire to be traded.
"The manangement and Coach Caloyhave agreed to trade Jericho as long as get an acceptable replacement," said Danny Espiritu, the agent of both Cruz and Almazan.
"As for Raymond, Coach Caloy said he will try to talk to him," Espiritu also said.
Teams interested on Cruz are NLEX, Kia, Phoenix Petroleum at TNT KaTropa. A possibility is a swap between Cruz and Kevin Alas.
Amidst this issue, the E-Painters are keeping a positive attitude, hoping to score a follow-up to their 97-86 toppling of the Road Warriors the last time out.
Meralco coach Norman Black, meanwhile, said they simply need to play better if they're to make the playoffs.
They got their worst beating in the season at the hands of the GlobalPortBatang Pier, 88-107, the last time.
"I thought we got manhandled by Global and we didn't really respond very well," said Black.
"We got killed on the boards, and if we don't control the middle of the court, we're not gonna win very many games," he added. "So that's something we really have to work on. We have to become better at getting our defensive rebounds so we can get out there and run and get some baskets."*pba.com
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