RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao is pointing the finger to no one but themselves after the Elasto Painters 90-82 Game Six loss to San Miguel Beer that put their PBA Philippine Cup stint to an end.
The E-Painters nurtured a double-digit lead and got an advantage when June Mar Fajardo went out with an injury early in the third quarter, yet still failed to take advantage to botch their chance to force a deciding game.
“We just messed it up,” Guiao admitted after one again falling short in his bid for a first-ever all-Filipino title. “We bungled our chance to make the finals. We had a break when Fajardo got injured, but we were not able to capitalize on it, so it’s our fault. We cannot blame anybody.”
The Painters were expected to make a run after Fajardo left, yet it was the Beermen who surged.
“I wasn’t really surprised because they have the talent naman eh,” Guiao said. “I’m surprised at how we handled it because I just felt that they thought they could get it easy when Fajardo was not on the court. And even with the lead going back to San Miguel, they probably felt we could get the lead anytime. But it did not happen.”
“We’re not ready to win a championship,” he added. “The best thing we can do is to get ready for the next conference.”
[See Fired up by Fajardo injury, SMB ousts RoS to reach PBA Finals]
Guiao rued his team’s outside shooting as the Painters missed all but two of their 31 three-point attempts for a disastrous six percent.
“We haven’t shot that bad in a long time,” the veteran mentor said. “What a time to shoot six percent from three points.”
Still, the Painters had an opportunity in the endgame as they nudged to within four points, yet wasted some precious seconds before ending up fouling Chris Ross in their last defensive play.
“Our purpose after the timeout was to try and force a turnover and not to foul right away, so nung wala na yung option na yun, wala ka ng ibang choice kung hindi mag-foul,” Guiao explained. “Nag-isolate na si Chris Ross, so I guess he’s the best guy to foul in that situation.”
[See Guiao arrives late for Game 6 after getting caught in 'Payday Friday' traffic]
Guiao admitted he thought of giving the reins entirely to assistant coaches Caloy Garcia and Mike Buendia after he arrived late at the Big Dome, but he was still accountable in the end.
“It also entered my mind (to let them coach) dahil nga may lead kami nun,” he said. “But I’m still responsible for the team. We had gathered ourselves together already, so I just took the responsibility.”
“We just have to learn and pick up the pieces from this experience and bring it to the next conference,” he added. “It’s probably going to make us stronger.”