COACH Yeng Guiao was quick to shrug off Rain or Shine’s sorry 97-90 loss to Barangay Ginebra Sunday night in a PBA Philippine Cup game that saw the Elasto Painters blow a huge 18-point lead.
Although a bit disappointed, Guiao is nonetheless not discouraged at all by the loss, knowing full well that his team still has control over its destiny as it bids for the twice-to-beat edge in the playoffs of the season-opening conference.
The setback put the Elasto Painters in third place with an 8-4 (win-loss) record, a game behind second-running San Mig Coffee (8-3).
“Wala ito (loss to Ginebra),” said the fiery coach. “Actually yun din, whether we win this game or lose it, the important game is the San Mig game.”
Guiao is referring to the Elasto Painters’ December 2 showdown against the Mixers. “I’m sure the motivation will be there on Sunday because that’s the game that would put us in second place,” added Guiao.
The team then winds up its elimination-round campaign against Barako Bull on December 7.
Winning their last two games, according to Guiao, would make them a lock for second place and the twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs by virtue of their head-to-head edge over the Mixers in the event of a tie.
The Elasto Painters came back from a double-digit deficit to nip the Mixers, 80-79, during their initial meeting on October 24.
Unfortunately, Ginebra did the same thing against his Rain or Shine team as the Kings rallied from a 25-43 second-quarter deficit to frustrate the Elasto Painters behind the big endgame plays of LA Tenorio, JayJay Helterbrand, and Chris Ellis.
Guiao said his team lost its defensive sharpness in the second half, failed to crash the boards, and weren’t running in transition, resulting in the Kings’ huge comeback win.
“Yung second half namin, nag-breakdown `yung depensa kay Tenorio saka kay Ellis, then they were able to run their breaks. Talong talo kami sa offensive rebounding, `yung second-chance points nila masyadong marami,” lamented Guiao.
The loss came four days after Rain or Shine itself pulled off an improbable comeback win against Meralco, rallying from as much as a 26-point deficit to win it in overtime, 102-98.