ALTHOUGH Rain or Shine has gone 8-2 over its last 10 games, Painters’ coach Yeng Guiao believes they are the underdogs in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals due to San Mig’s size advantage.
Rain or Shine earned the right to play the reigning Governors Cup champion San Mig in the finals beginning on Tuesday after outlasting Alaska in a tough semifinal series, 3-2 on Saturday.
The Elasto Painters bowed to the Mixers, 4-2 in the Philippine Cup title series this season and Guiao figures the finals of the season-ending conference will cause more match-up problems, primarily because of what import Marqus Blakely brings to San Mig.
“Now we still have a size problem, the same thing when we faced them in the all-Filipino Finals. We didn’t get bigger, but we got smaller with the import (match-up) because he (Blakely) is bigger than our import (AZ) Reid,” said the fiery Rain or Shine mentor.
The absence of JR Quinahan, out since the Commissioner’s Cup due to a knee injury, has given 6-foot-7 reed-thin rookie big man Raymond Almazan more time on the floor this conference where he averaged 6.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in 17.0 minutes of play.
Guiao said he has two days to figure out how to stop the Mixers, especially since Blakely’s energetic plays and understanding of the triangle offense under coach Tim Cone make San Mig a tough team to beat in the Finals.
“We haven’t thought of it (Finals) much, but James Yap is playing well. (Marc) Pingris is playing well. Their (Mixers) import is a dependable all-around player who can score, defend and rebound, and do everything else,” Guiao said.