SMB, Rain or Shine duels on Semifinals
San Miguel Beermen – the league’s most dominant team in the paint, will face Rain or Shine Elasto Painters – the top team from the rainbow territory on Sunday, as these two teams clash on the semifinals of 2016 OPPO PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Beermen, who have made its first final four appearance in Commissioner’s Cup since 2011, have been a strong force in the shaded area where import Tyler Wilkerson and Jun Mar Fajardo dictates the game. Wilkerson is reliable both on the paint and the three-point area. He averages 52.94% in two-points made and 40.40% from the arc. In addition, Chris Ross’ cutting ability makes SMB’s offense from the inside deadly, not to be left is Marcio Lassiter, SMB’s leading scorer with an average of 15 points per game.
But Rain or Shine also have their great equalizer on defense with Pierre Henderson-Niles protecting the rim. Also, JR Quinahan has been a reliable scorer for the Rain or Shine especially in the shaded area with an average of 15.0 points per game.
On the other hand, Rain or Shine has been a serious threat from the three-point area with Jeff Chan leading the charge. Aside from Chan, the Yeng Guiao-mentored team boasts a deep line-up who can shoot from the downtown. Chris Tiu, Jericho Cruz, Gabe Norwood, Paul Lee, big man Beau Belga and Maverick Ahanminsi can be well trusted in scoring from the arc.
“They [Rain or Shine] are playing really well, they shoot a lot of treys,” SMB head Coach Leo Austria said.
San Miguel and Rain or Shine will square off in a best-of-five semifinal series, for three straight conferences.
The last time their victims are Ginebra na meron ding malalaking tao, they’re used to it,” Austria said. “That’s why they have Henderson.”
For Austria, his team will have to prepare really well as they collide with a tough opponent as Rain or Shine.
“Coach Yeng gets all his guys to play with a lot of confidence.”