RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao admitted Alaska has grabbed the momentum in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals following its second straight win on Sunday night, but that didn’t stop him from declaring his team will still win the championship.
The Elasto Painters lost to the Aces, 86-78, which once again derailed their bid for a second league title, their first since the 2012 Governors’ Cup.
“Alaska now has the momentum, but it doesn’t mean they can run over us and totally take over that momentum,” Guiao said. “They are still in a bad place, and we are still in a good place.”
“They still have to beat us twice and we just have to beat them once so it's really looking at it from the positive perspective,” he added.
“We will still keep making the adjustments,” the champion coach continued. “That's the advantage you get when you're up three-zero. We'll make use of that advantage of having the luxury of doing the adjustments until we get it right.”
The E-Painters have to find a way to get back to their high-scoring ways after they were limited to their lowest output in over a year. They are 11-2 (win-loss) this conference when scoring at least 100 points, while the Aces sport the same record when limiting opponents to less than 100 points in one game.
But Guiao hardly believes that a low-scoring battle necessarily favor defense-oriented Alaska.
“That's always going to happen in a series – merong high scoring, low scoring, but even if it's a low scoring ball game, we have the chance to win it,” Guiao insisted. “We led for twenty-five minutes … and nagka-run lang sila so there's a really good chance of winning kaya hindi ako maniniwala na kung low scoring Alaska mananalo, kung high scoring Rain or Shine mananalo.”
“It can be both ways,” he added. “It's not really a factor, both teams play fast-paced, both can play deliberate basketball.”
Guiao ultimately believes the title is theirs to lose, but he also knows the Aces won’t hand it to them on a silver platter.
“You have to claim it at this point,” said the RoS, who recently lost in his reelection bid for a Congress seat. “If you do not make that mental resolve, you can easily lose the momentum.”
“I will not dare make any more predictions, except that in the end, we will win this one,” he concluded.