THE All-Filipino PBA title remained elusive for Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao after his Painters were swept by the Texters in the Philippine Cup Finals, but the fiery coach is not losing hope.
But the fiery mentor opted to stick to the positives following their 105-82 loss in Game Four, refusing to look at the Painters’ seventh successive all-Filipino conference defeat at the hands of the Texters, dating back to the last all-Filipino conference, as a puzzle yet to be solved.
“I do not look at it that way. I have a very young team and this team will go a long way. We just need to preserve it and we need to be together for a longer period of time,” said Guiao, also the vice-governor of Pampanga, after failing in his latest shot at the only title missing from his collection.
“We already won a championship. We are in the Finals in this conference. So things can only get better,” he added. “Solving Norman Black or solving Talk N Text, that’s not really (how I look at it). First, we need to get to the semis, and then to the finals again, and then try to solve whoever we’re facing. Ganun lang naman yun.”
Guiao, though, conceded that his Painters were outclassed by Texters the entire series.
“It was not really meant for us. Talk 'N Text was the better team this conference,” Guiao said. “But we will take this as our painful lesson and we will be better in the next conference.”
For a while, though, Guiao, believed the Painters had the chance to win Wednesday to “delay the Texters’ 'party” after his team cut a 16-point deficit to just 65-63 late in the third quarter, until the TNT’s barrage of triples in the fourth quarter doomed them.
“We’re disappointed. They just hit three-point shots from way, way off. We actually got close and stopped their dribble-drive pero the momentum was with them. We couldn’t stop it anymore.”
“Actually at that point (when we were just down by two), I actually thought we had a chance, pero abruptly those three-point shots just killed us and from then on mahirap na talagang pigilan because they had their confidence up and we were missing layups naman,” Guiao said, smiling while turning his head.
While the Texters’ shots from beyond the arc were on target, it was the opposite for the Painters the whole series.
“Wala kaming game na maganda ang outside shooting namin, partly because of the defense but we had some good looks. The whole four games, meron kaming open shots na usually high percentage para sa amin, pero hindi pumasok,” Guiao said.
“Pero ganun talaga. It happens. Maybe we just need to work harder on our execution or building up the skills. But previous to that (series), San Mig Coffee is also the best defensive team, actually on record, pero we were able to get our shots off.”