RYAN Araña expressed surprise over the decision of coach Yeng Guiao to bench him in the fourth quarter of Game Three of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals against Talk N Text Sunday night.
The move not to field in the tough 29-year-old shooting guard came just as Arana himself helped the Elasto Painters grab and maintain their third quarter lead by scoring all but two of his 10 points.
He likewise did a good defensive job against Talk `N Text guards Jayson Castro and Jimmy Alapag during the same stretch before the two exploded in the final quarter that sparked the Tropang Texters to the win.
“Hindi ko rin alam. Nagtataka rin ako,” said the Tondo-born lefty as he appeared at a loss on why he sat for the most part of the fourth quarter of the Elasto Painters’ 89-80 loss that put them in a huge 0-3 hole in the best-of-seven title series.
“Pero system ni coach yan. Kung palaruin niya ako o hindi, okay lang. Pero once na pinalaro niya ako, bibigay ko talaga ang hundred percent ko.”
It just so happened the former La Salle Green Archer felt he could have continued his solid contribution until the endgame had Guiao opted to use him.
“Kasi sinabi sa akin nila coach Caloy (Garcia) kung ano kailangan kong gawin, which is to stop Castro and Jimmy. Nagagawa ko naman. Siguro tingin ko lang kung nasa loob ako kanina makakatulong naman ako.”
Alapag hit three three-pointers in the final quarter to touch off Talk `N Text’s vicious windup. He and Castro finished as the top scorers for the defending champions as they combined for 34 points.
While Arana is not sure if he will approach Guiao regarding the incident, he assures his teammate that he’ll continue to give his best once he steps inside the court in the hopes of still gifting his coach a first-ever All-Filipino title.
“Hindi ko alam kung paano ko sisimulan, kung kakausapin ko ba siya o hindi. Pero makikita naman sa stats kung ano nangyari,” said Araña, who aside from finishing in double figures, also had six rebounds, an assist, and a steal in just 13 minutes of play.
“Pero sana mapansin rin ni coach kasi ako talaga, naglalaro ako for coach. Gusto ko every time nasa court ako, gusto ko ma-impress siya, lalo na itong All-Filipino Cup. Sinabi ko sa teammates ko gusto namin ibigay to sa kanya as a gift so sana `yung ibang teammate namin huwag rin mawalan ng pag-asa kasi hindi pa rin naman huli ang lahat.”
Asked to comment on the matter, Guiao told a handful of scribes he just wanted to use a different set of players to finish the game, saying he was already satisfied with Araña’s performance.
“Meron kasi talaga akong pang-finish na iba. Hindi naman siya kasama dun,” said the fiery mentor known for his unconventional coaching style.
“It’s enough na nakatulong siya. He’s done his part and his role at tsaka nung huli, meron rin siyang defensive lapses. Pero that was just minor. Mas malaking factor yung I wanted to finish with a certain combination.”