RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said strong play by the Barangay Ginebra bench, a below-par performance from Bruno Sundov, and some tough breaks down the stretch led to the Painters' stunning exit at the quarterfinal stage of the PBA Commissioner's Cup.
The last to emerge from Rain or Shine's gloomy dugout after the 79-81 loss to the Gin Kings, the veteran coach told a couple of waiting scribes that things would have been completely different had several makable shots hit their mark for the Painters down the stretch.
“It wasn’t really for us,” Guiao said. "We gave it our best shot, but somehow we couldn’t get our offense going. We had some layups, some really easy layups. We had some chances even up to the end, some followups that were around the rim and they didn’t go in.
“The semifinals were a mere one possession away. Ganun talaga,” he added.
The Painters had won their maiden title in last season's Governors Cup and had been to the Finals the past two conferences, but they fell at thef first playoff hurdle this time against a Ginebra team that was still without reigning league MVP Mark Caguioa.
Credit should go to Ginebra's bench, Guiao said.
“With our without Caguioa, Ginebra’s still Ginebra," he said. "They have the talent from the bench anyway. So it’s a good chance for them to exploit that potential from the bench.”
The multi-titled coach was also left to rue the sub-par performance of Sundov, who battled foul trouble from the first quarter on and finished with just six rebounds and 12 points - well below his averages for the Painters.
“I mean, if our import grabbed ten rebounds instead of six, it would’ve been the difference. Ganun lang ka-simple yun,” said Guiao. “It was the worst game of Bruno and it had to come when it was our biggest game."
Guiao also insisted the Painters did not underestimate Ginebra as coach Alfrancis Chua had claimed. “I don’t think so. Hindi naman namin sila in-underestimate.
"We’ve had close games with them in the elimination round. Hindi naman namin sila natambakan o dinominate eh. We prepared just the way we prepared for any other team. but hindi lang talaga (para sa amin).”
Guiao said the Painters simply have to learn and move on from this debacle.
“Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you want them to be. But there’s always something you can learn from experience. I keep saying that ours is a young team and these things are going to make us strong in the future.”