Aiming higher

first_imgOil plant explodes in Pampanga town ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Garcia and Yap have always rued about missing the playoffs in the third conference last season—a bitter taste they keep in their mouths for motivation to reach for loftier goals.“We’d want an advantage going into the next round,” said Garcia, whose squad improved to 7-1—the best record in the league—after their conquest of the Hotshots.The top two teams at the end of the elimination round are assured of a twice-to-beat bonus in the playoffs, an incentive that Garcia feels they can achieve if they can stretch their run of solid performances.“If we want to make it far, we have to be consistent,” he said. “Basically, [we] played well [on Wednesday]. But I think we could have done better.”Yap, who made the pivotal play in a nip-and-tuck endgame duel  against the Hotshots, feels like Rain or Shine’s recent clutch performances will sharpen the team up for brutal playoff wars.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LATEST STORIES James Yap (right) has been having a rejuvenation of sorts, towing Rain or Shine to the lead. —Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netRain or Shine got what it wanted going into a midconference break in the PBA Philippine Cup. James Yap, the veteran former MVP, is having a career rejuvenation of sorts.Can’t blame Elasto Painters coach Caloy Garcia for aiming higher right now.ADVERTISEMENT Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte HK club ends SMB-Alab’s 7-game run “Our target now is try to make it to the Top 2,” he said shortly after Rain or Shine survived last season’s Governors Cup champion Magnolia, 75-74, in a clutch duel Wednesday night at MOA Arena.“Before the game, I told the players that as of now, we’re playing good…  I think we’re already assured of a quarters spot during our last game,” he said. “I think six wins will get you to the quarterfinals.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesThe league’s chief statistician, Fidel Mangonon III, said that at least in the last four editions of the Philippine Cup, teams with six wins have made it to the playoffs.But an assurance is just that: an assurance. Moreso, just getting into the playoffs isn’t enough for the Elasto Painters anymore. Before beating Magnolia, Rain or Shine also outlasted erstwhile leader Phoenix.“I like it,” he said of the intense contests. “Come playoffs, we’ll be used to all of it.”It was doubly sweet for Yap, who came up strong against the team he powered to a Grand Slam in 2014. He was eventually traded to Rain or Shine and hasn’t quite made his mark until this conference, where he has been reliving his MVP form.But the Painters know Yap cannot do it alone.“We just have to trust each other,” Garcia added.The Painters resume their Philippine Cup campaign against TNT KaTropa on March 3 at Ynares Center in Antipolo. View commentslast_img