RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao believes he has found a way to solve the issues that had hounded them in Game One. Talk N Text mentor Norman Black is bracing for a fightback.
“Obviously, there are things we did well and there are things we did bad (in Game One). Of course, they (Elasto Painters) probably will look on their part and adjust to it,” said Black ahead of Game Two of the PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven championship series at the MOA Arena on Friday.
The Tropang Texters took Game One, 87-81, and Black anticipates Guiao has done his homework ahead of Friday's game.
“As a team that won the game, we will anticipate the adjustments (of Rain or Shine), but the difficult thing is to try to figure out what they might do and at the same time not overanticipating it,” he added.
Guiao feels his plan to neutralize Black’s big men partly worked and that a few more adjustments will earn them the series equalizer.
“We were determined to keep running and I think our plan worked because in the second half (Game One), except for the two three-point shots by Ranidel (de Ocampo), we had neutralized their bigs. Even Ali Peek was not able to dominate the paint and play longer minutes because they had to put in the quicker guys,” explained Guiao.
“They had to rotate with their bigs who can keep up. I think that’s a good sign for us. We’re able to lessen the minutes of their bigs and also force coach Norman to get out of his usual rotation,” he added.
Peek, Black’s hulking slotman, was limited to 20 minutes in Game One as the Elasto Painters elected to go small for most of the second half, allowing them to close the gap at 76-79 after being down by 17 points in the third period.
“Well, coach has his adjustment plan. For me, I just try to be a student, whatever coach wants me to do, we’ll just go out there and execute,” said the 6-foot-4 Peek.
The series is shaping up to be another defensive matchup, and Black said he couldn’t care less if his team shoots poorly from the field so long as they chalk up the win in the end.
“We want to change the culture a little bit towards playing better defense. (We want to) be more consistent in defense so that even if the offense isn’t clicking, so what? Who cares? We’ll still play defense and stop the other team. We didn’t shoot well today (Game One), but to me, those are the type of games we can be proud of,” said Black.