Defending champion San Miguel Beermen will battle against Rain or Shine tonight to secure the solo lead at the ongoing 2015-16 Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup.

Philippine Star quoted San Miguel coach Leo Austria saying the E-painters is one its toughest challenges this season.

“Everyone is saying we’re the team to beat because we ruled two conferences last year. I can’t dispute that. Then the way I see it, I find Rain or Shine and Alaska as our toughest challenges, Austria said.

“Rain or Shine is very fluid. We all saw that in their first two games,” he added.

In their most recent games, San Miguel beat Globalport, 97-86, and Meralco, 101-85. ROS, on the other hand, defeated Star, 96-87, and Mahindra, 108-84.

Austria noted Rain or Shine’s improvement on its games this conference because of its acquisition of Jewel Ponferada, Maverick Ahanmisi and Don Trollano.

ROS coach Yeng Guiao still believed that the Beermen has so much roster advantage.

“We’re still in a quandary on how to approach our game versus San Miguel,” said Guiao.

Inquirer quoted the Rain or Shine coach as saying: “We can’t make up our mind on whether we try to take away their inside game anchored on Junmar (Fajardo) or try to extend out on their shooters,” Guiao explained. “We know we can’t do both. No team has found the formula yet. We will just toss the coin and see if we win the gamble.”

The Beermen is expected to be led by Fajardo in its game against Rain or Shine tonight. In their last games, Fajardo scored 21 points, 17 rebounds, and three blocks against GlobalPort, and 14 points and 13 rebounds against Meralco.

Inquirer noted that Rain or Shine was the team with best cumulative win-loss record last season, even better than the Beermen. However, they also performed miserably against SMB.

SMB and ROS are currently on top of the PBA Philippine Cup team standing, along with NLEX Road Warriors.

The Beermen and ROS will meet at 7 p.m. at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City after the matchup between Meralco Bolts and Blackwater Elite at 4:15 p.m

Watch live game streaming here.