Rain Or Shine stakes top spot vs streaking Hotshots; B-Pier, Aces collide in PBA Saturday

Reggie Johnson will be the main man anew as Rain Or Shine tackles Magnolia in a key PBA Commisioner's Cup match Saturday. Rick Johnsen Dela Cruz/ Dugout Philippines
By Ricky Manliguis

MANILA--Rain Or Shine hopes to keep in the upper bracket of the standings as it faces dangerous Magnolia, even as Alaska wants to continue its winning ways against Global Port in a Saturday double-header in the 2018 Honda PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

In the main game, the Elasto Painters are atop the leaderboard with a 5-1 record, and eager to post back-to-back wins against Magnolia (3-1), who tapped the services of new reinforcement Curtis Kelly.

Kelly, who was measured on Thursday at 6-foot-8 with a 253-pound weight, had stints in Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, and Italy.

He played college in Connecticut for two years before transferring to Kansas State, where he averaged 11.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks as a starter during the Wildcats’ 2010 Elite 8 stint. He went undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft.

The 30-year old New York native will replace Vernon Macklin, who posted 21.0 points and 13.3 rebounds in his four-game stint with the team but had.  

ROS are coming off a hard-fought 96-90 win over GlobalPort on May 20, and will bank on burly import Reggie Johnson and the local crew led by Raymond Almazan and Chris Tiu, who is coming off a surgery in his upper lip.

The Pambansang Manok, on the other hand, are in the crest of a three-game win run following a nail-biting 81-79 victory over Meralco on May 19 behind Macklin and Player of the Week awardee Paul Lee.

In the curtain-raiser at 4:30 p.m., the Aces (4-1) hope to sustain its hot form of late against the Batang Pier (3-3), who are recovering after being slapped with heavy fines from the Commissioner’s Office Thursday following a scuffle against Rain Or Shine.

Reinforcement Antonio Campbell and Vic Manuel will hold the fort the Alaska offensive against counterparts Malcolm White and Stanley Pringle. 

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