The Elasto Painters, coming off a 107-100 demolition of Alaska last Sunday, shoot for a 2-0 start with a win in their 7:30 p.m. encounter against the Llamados.
Barako Bull battles Powerade at 5:15 p.m. in the opener.
“I know B-MEG is short on preparation so this would be the best time to play them,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.
“There is no guarantee, of course. B-MEG is still formidable even with the lack of preparation but I would rather play them early than later. It’s very important to win early in a short conference like this,” he added.
The Elasto Painters drew a solid game from import Jamelle Cornley, who had 27 points and 11 rebounds in his debut against the Aces.
They will be facing a B-MEG quintet that had little time to prepare for the season-ending conference after winning the title of the previous tournament against Talk ‘N Text in seven games.
The Llamados will be led by Marqus Blakely, a former Vermont player who had a solid NBA D-League campaign with the Iowa Energy last season where he averaged 15.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.
In the opener, the Tigers hope to bounce back from a 97-83 loss to Petron Blaze as they face debuting Barako Bull.
“It is important to understand that we need to battle each game,” said Powerade mentor Bo Perasol.
“One game will have a significant effect on how we will finish this season. That fact should give us a do-or-die attitude all the time,” he added.
Rashad McCants and Gary David combined for 53 points in their first game but the others failed to deliver for the Tigers.
Barako Bull will be parading Jamine Peterson, a one-time standout from Providence.
“JP Peterson is blending well with the locals plus the veterans are in shape,” said Energy coach Junel Baculi whose team was unbeaten in three pre-tournament games.