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Four teams start making big moves on their PBA bids


Games Wednesday(Smart Araneta Coliseum)4:30 p.m. — Meralco vs Terrafirma7:30 p.m. — Rain or Shine vs Converge

FOUR teams that struggled in the early goings of the PBA Philippine Cup look to start making big moves to push their respective playoffs drives.

Meralco (2-3) and Terrafirma (3-2) clash while Rain or Shine or ROS (1-4) and Converge (0-5) face off as they resume their campaigns in today’s double-header at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Bolts hope to return to action recharged by the two-week break and buoyed by their 91-73 romp over Ginebra last March 15 that ended back-to-back losses to NorthPort and NLEX prior. “Our focus is to win each game because we have three losses. Our backs are against the wall,” said Meralco star Allein Maliksi after notching their second win in five outings.

The Dyip themselves are riding on a morale-boosting victory just before the All-Filipino halted play to give way to the mid-season All Star Weekend and Holy Week.

Last March 16, the Dyip fought back from 19 points down and banked on Juami Tiongson’s winning three-pointer to steal it against Blackwater, 92-91, and get win no. 3.

“I think these next few days or couple of weeks will kind of define the teams,” said Meralco counterpart Luigi Trillo. “Everybody’s looking for placing. So some teams at the top can cement themselves in their positions, and some of the lower teams can come back to life.”

Like Meralco and Terrafirma, ROS aims to build on its 100-85 conference breakthrough over Phoenix in the first half of hostilities heading to its 7:30 p.m. duel with winless Converge in play resumption.

“We looked at it (hiatus) as a time to reset, a time to bring this team together, look at what transpired in the first five games and see where we can improve on,” said Rain or Shine tactician Yeng Guiao.

Notes: Amid noise on social media about supposedly bolting Meralco, ace playmaker Chris Newsome declared his full commitment to the Bolts. “I’m 100 percent committed. Ever since the day I got drafted by Meralco, I’ve always dreamt of getting Meralco its first PBA championship and I’m still fighting for that ‘til this day,” he said on the team’s Facebook page. — Olmin Leyba

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