RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao expressed disappointment over his team’s uncharacteristic lapses down the stretch in its loss to TNT Katropa in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday night.
Coming off a Commissioner’s Cup title conquest, the Elasto Painters lost in their conference debut after squandering a 14-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
“To me, it’s out of character,” Guiao said after emerging from the dugout following a long meeting with his players and staff.
“We won the championship, we’ve been through a lot, difficult situations, but we’ve been able carve out some wins. But in this game today, I felt we were like rookies committing rookie mistakes in the fourth quarter, especially,” he added.
[See Jayson Castro leads decisive blitz as TnT blows past Rain or Shine]
The E-Painters built a 90-76 cushion with a less than three minutes gone by in the payoff period, but allowed the Texters to make a comeback capped by a go-ahead Jayson Castro trey with 52 seconds left.
“We could’ve just protected that lead and come out with a win, but it’s really bad judgment, bad decision-making, bad execution that cost us the game,” Guiao said. “We just turned the ball over too many times at the time we needed the baskets the most.”
“I think we couldn’t score for five or six minutes at the most crucial part of the game and that’s when they caught up with us,” he added.
Explaining his decision to bench import Dior Lowhorn down the stretch, Guiao said he kept feeding the ball to his burly import that yielded no reward.
“Whenever he got the ball in the low post, he would attract a double team, so I felt that that would open up Paul (Lee), Gabe (Norwood), or Jeff (Chan), or Maverick (Ahanmisi). But we did not get the ball to them after he touched the ball,” the outspoken mentor said.
“I felt that, although he was attracting the double team, nothing was coming out of it,” he added. “Turnover yung nangyayari eh.”
[See Norwood beats self for letting Rain or Shine down]
Still, it’s too early to panic, Guiao stressed as they came off a conference where they started with three losses in their first four games and had four import changes.
“We struggled a lot more during the last conference before we got our rhythm, so to us, this is not really an urgent situation yet,” the veteran coach said. “As soon as we get our momentum, I hope it doesn’t become too late. Pero palagay ko hindi naman.”