AS Beau Belga caught a pass and fumbled possession of the leather, JR Quiñahan didn’t hesitate to dive for the loose ball, jostling against his Extra Rice Inc. partner turned opponent in one offensive set in Rain or Shine practice on Tuesday morning.
The intensity was indeed palpable in the Elasto Painters’ training session at the Northeast Greenhills Gym on the eve of Game Six of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals against Alaska at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
That’s because the E-Painters are treating the upcoming matchup as their own Game Seven, eager to put an end to the Aces’ improbable comeback bid.
“You have to have that (do-or-die) mentality,” E-Painters coach Yeng Guiao said after practice that went for almost three hours. “Yung sense of urgency, kailangan maramdaman ng lahat.”
“And then the effort also, you should not think that you can divide your effort into two more games,” he added. “Kailangan isang effort na lang siya, isang laro, buhos na lang.”
After all, the veteran mentor is well aware that the Aces are capable of keeping their reversal bid alive, having shown it in their last two must-win games.
“And I think that’s what they mean when they’ve said we’ll treat this as our last game,” Guiao said. “If we can beat them three times, there’s no reason we cannot beat them one more time.”
Guiao is hoping he has conveyed his message to his wards loud and clear.
“The biggest adjustment we need to make is to play good defense without fouling, without giving up too many free throws,” said the six-time champion coach, whose team committed an unacceptable 66 fouls in the last two games.
“The stats mostly will indicate that in all departments, it’s about even except that masyado marami kaming binibigay na free throws as Alaska,” he added.