PBA: Battle lines are drawn for the Great Pancit Wars

Paul Lintag on Apr 06, 2019 11:09 PM
PBA: Battle lines are drawn for the Great Pancit Wars
No. 2 Rain or Shine vs. no. 7 Northport is set for Sunday at the MOA Arena. The Elasto Painters advance with a win.

Northport was left for dead in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup after a six-game losing skid that lasted for a good two months.

Rain or shine was on a roll, winning five straight games in the All-Filipino but the Elasto Painters’ good hard work was about to be undone as their 8-3 record was not good enough for second place in the event of a triple-tie with TNT and Ginebra.

It was not even good enough if ROS just tied with TNT and the KaTropa were in the middle of their own five-game tear.

Enter Northport.

In a near-perfect performance, the Batang Pier crushed the KaTropa and handed the no. 2 seed to Rain or Shine.

Northport couldn’t care less about the race for the top-2, the team was just trying to stay alive. Head coach Pido Jarencio said that if there are teams that are thankful for what they did, send some food over to the Batang Pier practice.

“Actually wala kaming pakealam sa kanilang lahat eh,” Jarencio said.

“Ang pakealam namin eh manalo kami. Kami muna, intindihin muna namin problema namin ano. Kung nabigyan namin sila ng free ticket para maging number 1 or number 2, kung sino mang team yun, magpadala na lang sila ng pagkain sa practice bukas,” he added.

A couple of days later, the Rain or Shine bosses did sent some food over. Coach Pido, ever the jokester, still had time to keep piling on the bit.

Northport kept winning so Jarencio was all smiles.

“Actually, nagpapa-salamat kami kay sir Raymond Yu, nagpadala nga ng pancit. Kinakantyawan lang natin eh, nagpadala naman,” Jarencio said after the Batang Pier beat the Alaska Aces for back-to-back wins.

“Dapat nilagyan na rin ng lumpiang shanghai pati fried rice ano,” he added, drawing laughs for his post-game talk.

The jokes stop now though as the red-hot Batang Pier meet no less than Rain or Shine in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals.

ROS, the no. 2 team in the All-Filipino, are well-rested and ready to go. While the Elasto Painters have not played since March 15, they also hold a twice-to-beat advantage.

They’ve been in playoff mode since last month.

“Hindi na mauulit yun,” James Yap said referring to Rain or Shine suffering back-to-back losses upon returning from a break.

“Every practice kailangan focused na. Ibang usapan na to eh, nasa playoffs na,” the former two-time league MVP added.

Back to Northport, who beat Ginebra to seal the 7th seed, Jarencio understands his situation as the team prepares for ROS.

There are no jokes to be made as his Batang Pier take on a loaded ROS crew.

The battle lines have been drawn for the great Pancit Wars.

“Ay iba na yun, ang lakas ng team na yun. May gwardya, may sentro, may power forward, may Gilas players... dehadong dehado kami dun. Pero bilog ang bola sabi nga nila,” Pido said on Rain or Shine.

“At gusto ko talagang mag-padala ng pansit sa kanila eh. Kaya kailangang pagtrabahuan natin yon,” he added.

No. 2 Rain or Shine vs. no. 7 Northport is set for Sunday at the MOA Arena. The Elasto Painters advance with a win.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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