RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao shot the first warning upon learning it will be defending champion Talk `N Text which his team will meet in the Finals of the PBA Philippine Cup.
“Pag hindi nila kami tinapos ng maaga... delikado sila sa amin,” said Guiao moments after the Tropang Texters bundled out the Alaska Aces in their semis series to forge a championship showdown with the Elasto Painters.
The reigning champion, gunning to become the first team to win the Jun Bernardino Perpetual Trophy with a third straight All-Filipino title within the horizon, beat the Aces in Friday night’s Game 6, 83-78, to end the best-of-seven series, 4-2.
But it didn’t escape the attention of Guiao that the Tropang Texters had been to too many Finals appearances in the last two seasons, making them vulnerable to an expected physical title series against one of the toughest defending teams in the PBA today.
“Tingin ko `yung apat na araw na break, mapapahinga `yung Talk n’ Text, pero pagpasok ng Game 5, dun pa lang nila mararamdaman ang pagod. At dun kami magka-capitalize,” said the ever outspoken Guiao, who was with his townfolks and local mediamen in Pampanga’s first district while watching the Talk `N Text-Alaska game on television.
“The more na humaba ang series na ito, the more na pabor sa amin,” stressed the Rain or Shine mentor, whose coaching savvy has caught the fancy of Filipino basketball fans.
The six-time champion coach believes the backcourt match-up will be the main key in the best-of-seven Finals, but did not rule out the obvious advantage Talk `N Text have in the frontcourt.
While Guiao believes Rain or Shine can match up well with the guards of Talk n’ Text, he said plans will be devised to respond expected disadvantage his team will have in the paint.
“Kailangan matapatan namin `yung laki at bilis ng mga big men nila. That’s the key for us,” said Guiao. “This is going to be an exciting series!”