RAIN or SHINE seeks to keep a perfect run while NorthPort tries to snap out of a slump as they clash in the opener of Week Two of the PBA Philippine Cup bubble play at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Gym in Angeles City.
The Elasto Painters insist they're still in the process of adapting into the unique Clark setup and getting in shape, but they're setting out for the 4 p.m. Sunday tussle riding the momentum of stirring back-to-back wins over San Miguel Beer and Terrafirma.
An 87-83 upset win over the Beermen fired up the E-Painters who on Friday night scored a follow-up with a near wire-to-wire 91-82 triumph over the Dyip.
ROS coach Caloy Garcia expects his team to be more competitive once everyone gets back into playing condition.
He mentioned two-time MVP winner James Yap who is just back from Italy and trying to catch up, and their youngsters who have yet to fully grasp their system.
Nonetheless, the old reliables are up to the tasks.
Beau Belga, Gabe Norwood, Rey Nambatac and Javee Mocon were among the anchors in the team's 2-0 start that they hope to stretch Sunday to keep in step with the TNT Tropang Giga (3-0).
"Hopefully, yung kumpiyansa madala pa namin sa mga susunod na laro," said Nambatac, a collegiate wing guy being converted to playing the point and doing a fine job thus far.
NorthPort is lacking in that spot, and it was pretty evident in the Batang Pier's 0-2 start, with losses to the Blackwater Elite and the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters.
Sorely missed is Robert Bolick, whom the team decided not to bring into the bubble to allow the player to completely recover from an ACL surgery before plunging back into action.
NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio insists, though, that they will try to fight and live with what they have.
"We need Robert. But eto na kami, eto na ang team namin," said Jarencio, expressing trust and confidence on Nico Elorde, LA Revilla and Renzo Subido.
A semifinalist in the last Governors Cup, NorthPort is still trying to find its rhythm back.
The Batang Pier dropped their games against the Elite and the Fuel Masters with Christian Standhardinger and Sean Anthony in their usual productive ways but lacking the needed support.
Standhardinger averages 25.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists while Anthony norms 22.5 markers, 12.5 boards and 8.0 feeds. (SB)