RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao urged his team to use this rare setback as motivation to strive for another impressive string of success in the PBA.
The Elasto Painters lost to Phoenix, 105-94, in their playoff on Wednesday that signaled the end of their 12 straight postseason appearances, including a remarkable nine successive semifinal stints.
“One thing I reminded the players is we have to carry the lessons of this season and we have to feel the pain and the hurt,” Guiao said as he emerged from the dugout after a long talk with his players and staff. “Pag nakakalimutan mo kasi yung hapdi ng pagkatalo, parang okay lang matalo eh.”
“So sabi ko sa kanila na wag niyo kakalimutan na masakit ang matalo,” he added. “And we don’t want to be in the same situation in the future, so we have to derive motivation from that experience.”
Guiao admitted the E-Painters failed to find the import who perfectly fits in with the team as he bared that Josh Dollard, their fourth import this conference, was still recovering from an unspecified operation he had in December.
“We were not able to bring in the right import,” Guiao admitted. “Josh Dollard is an exceptional import, except that he was not one-hundred percent healthy, so he was not the same Josh Dollard who played a couple of seasons back.”
“We tried to survive with him, pero iba talaga yung class ng import ngayon,” he added. “If he were one hundred percent, maybe we could’ve played longer. But the problem was, as talented as he was, he wasn’t a hundred percent healthy. Makikita mo naman na wala siyang lift and literally, hindi siya rin maka-move as quickly as he was able to move before.”
Still, Guiao stuck to the positives as he looked back on the E-Painters’ consistent run.
“It’s been a good run for us actually (the last nine conferences). Alam natin na at some point, it will end and it ended today,” he said.
“But looking back, I think we achieved something special. I keep saying na hindi naman kami yung pinakamagaling na team, pinaka-talented, but we were able to make ourselves contenders consistently and champion team twice over in the last four years.”
“We’re hoping with those experiences and lessons, we’ll be able to form a better all-Filipino team come November,” he added. “We will look forward to the future and leave this behind.”