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Manny Pacquiao of Kia Carnival. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

The Kia Carnival try to give playing coach Manny Pacquiao a nice send-off as they clash with Blackwater Elite in PBA Commissioner’s Cup action Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.

Kia is playing its last match with Pacquiao before he flies to the United States later in the day to prepare for his megafight with Floyd Mayweather.

As a treat to fans who want to see Pacquiao on the court one last time before the fight, the PBA is giving away no more than 2,000 free tickets to the general admission and the upper box section on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Asi Taulava of NLEX. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

Asi Taulava, the oldest player in the PBA at 41, was one among the star players who were not included in last year’s All-Star Game.

Given an opportunity to return and appear in a record-tying 12th All-Star Game appearance with Alvin Patrimonio, Taulava is determined to make up for the opportunity he lost last season.

“I know the feeling from last season when I didn’t make it to the All-Star Game. I told myself that if given the opportunity to do it again, I will go out there and play my heart out, especially for the fans,” Taulava told sportswriters after the game.

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NLEX notches first win streak, zooms past Meralco (February 28, 2015)
Bong Lozada [ Source: Inquirer ]

NLEX import Al Thornton had another strong performance vs. Meralco. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

MANILA, Philippines—Zooming to their first win streak of the conference is the NLEX Road Warriors after they dispatched the Meralco Bolts, 89-76, in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup showing on Friday evening at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

NLEX notched back-to-back wins after taking care of San Miguel on Saturday and gained a 3-4 win-loss card.

Niño Canaleta hit the dagger three from the left corner with 43.5 remaining to put the Road Warriors up 82-74.

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Rain or Shine import Wayne Chism evades the defense of Barako Bull's Jake Pascual. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

Wayne Chism had 32 points while JR Quiñahan added 12 as the Rain or Shine Elastopainters leaned on a strong second quarter to defeat the Barako Bull Energy, 103-91, on Friday.

"We knew coming into this game that Barako is the best defensive team," said Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao.

"We just wanted to draw out [Solomon] Alabi and create some space in the middle. We hit our threes; Chism is quicker than their import. It's been good with Wayne. That's what we expected."

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PBA

The Filipino community in Dubai will once again be treated to live PBA action, with three teams set to play in the United Arab Emirates for a pair of games.

As part of the Governors' Cup eliminations, Rain or Shine will play back-to-back matches against GlobalPort on May 21 and fan favorite Barangay Ginebra on May 22.

Both games will be played at the Al Shabab Al Arabi Club in Dubai.

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Bolts out to keep lead vs NLEX (February 27, 2015)
Cedelf P. Tupas [ Source: Inquirer ]

JOSH Davis (right) seen here driving against Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar is a doubtful starter for Meralco after getting injured in an out-of-town match. EDWIN BACASMAS

MANILA, Philippines—Easily the biggest surprises of the tournament so far along with Kia, Meralco and Barako Bull hope to sustain their impressive runs when they square off with separate rivals Friday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

But the pacesetting Bolts could miss hard-working import Josh Davis as they shoot for their sixth win in seven games against the NLEX Road Warriors at 7 tonight.

Davis, who is averaging 20 points and 17 rebounds through six games, is listed as day-to-day after suffering a severe muscle contusion. The 6-foot-8 import fell hard on the floor in the second quarter of a blowout loss to San Miguel Beer in a PBA Petron Special road game in Cagayan de Oro last Saturday and did not return.

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Barako Bull, Rain or Shine collide; eyes share of 2nd place (February 27, 2015)
Cedelf P. Tupas [ Source: Inquirer ]

Dave Marcelo of Barako Bull Energy. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

The Barako Bull Energy clash with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters  4:15 p.m with the winner gaining a share of second spot with the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters.

Barako Bull’s 4-2 record has come as a pleasant surprise for coach Koy Banal, who said it is a reflection of the hard work the Energy have put in the tournament.

“We don’t have the most competitive of lineups compared to other teams,” said Energy coach Koy Banal. “But the players have shown a willingness to work hard, that’s why we’ve been winning.”

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