THREE teams want to reclaim a piece of the top spot while one wants to continue its move up the standings as the 2016-17 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup resumes.
Streaking TNT KaTropa, winners of two in a row and holding a 2-1 card, resumes its sibling rivalry with the Meralco Bolts (1-1) in their 7 p.m. clash.
Blackwater Elite and Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, both at 2-1, who want to keep their place up top will part ways when they face off at 4:15 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum today, Friday, December 9.
Six teams (Blackwater, Rain or Shine, TNT KaTropa, GlobalPort Batang Pier, San Miguel Beer and Phoenix Petroleum Fuel Masters) are tied at the top of the heap with similar 2-1 marks.
After winning their first two games, the Elite and the Elasto Painters have both cooled down, yielding their last assignments to two perennial contenders.
Both try to get back into groove as they test each other.
Rain or Shine tasted its first setback at the hands of Barangay Ginebra, 81-74, last Sunday while Blackwater was given an awakening by TNT KaTropa, yielding to the Texters, 99-92, last week.
That win of the Tropang Texters is their second straight and their first one under new coach Nash Racela.
“Our first games are learning experiences for us, now. What we’re looking at is winning more games in the process,” said Racela.
TNT star Jayson Castro also made his season debut in the team’s last game against the Elite, scoring 20 points to give notice to the rest of the league that he is back in full strength.
A rejuvenated Bolts team face the Texters.
After its opening game loss, Meralco bounced back strong, posting an impressive 106-93 victory over NLEX last Saturday to win its first game of the season.
Bolts’ reliable young crew stepped it up. Reigning Rookie of the Year Chris Newsome and the team’s top rookie Ed Daquioag both had statement games against the Road Warriors.
Newsome fired 28 points while the newbie Daquioag showed what he is capable of doing, scoring 23 points of his own.
“We’re happy to get that first win for this All-Filipino in the bag. But it doesn’t get any easier for us. TNT is up next,” said Meralco coach Norman Black. “We want to continue building our confidence as we go.”