YENG GUIAO said winning Game One gives his team a 70 percent probability of winning the series, and now the Painters try to boost that number when they take on San Mig Coffee in Game Two of their PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinals at the MOA Arena Friday night.
The Elasto Painters took care of the rebounds and played a fluid game in the series opener, resulting in a 91-83 victory over the listless Mixers on Wednesday night.
“It’s too early to say (prediction for the series) but if you win the first game, you have close to 70 percent chance of winning the series," said Guiao, basing his calculations on the results of past seven-game series.
"We want to have that edge and be in that kind of position. We’re very happy with the way things turned out.”
Guiao was elated by the team's 48-46 rebounding edge in the series opener but cautioned his boys not to fall into a sense of security, saying their rebounding effort should not take any day off especially against a tall Mixers squad.
“But it’s just one game so we still have to continue working on our rebounds. This is a seven-game series,” he added.
Jervy Cruz played his gut out in Game One to lead the Elasto Painters in the rebounding department with 15 boards, seven on the offensive end. Center Beau Belga added six caroms and Larry Rodriguez, who scored 11 of his 15 points in the third period, added five boards in a total effort from Rain or Shine’s undersized frontline.
So listless were the Mixers, particularly in the second half, that head coach Tim Cone went out of the Big Dome immediately after the game without talking to the team.
“Sinabi na lang ni (assistant) coach Jeff (Cariaso) na bawi na lang kami sa Game Two. Kailangan kasi may gigil kami sa laro,” said Mixers sophomore point guard Mark Barroca, who played 32 minutes in Game One to finish with 12 points, three rebounds and four assists.
The 5-foot-9 Barroca had to play extended minutes particularly in the second half in lieu of team captain and lead point guard Jonas Villanueva who is still recuperating from a bout with dengue fever.
Villanueva started shooting again during the team’s morning practice on Thursday at the Hoops Center, but he said he doesn’t expect to play yet on Game Two.
“Siguro mga Game Three na ako makakalaro. Pinapagpahinga kasi ako actually ng two weeks ng doctors. Pero sabi ko, tapos na ang series nun, kailangan ako ng team,” said Villanueva, a former FEU Tamaraw star point guard.
San Mig Coffee power forward Marc Pingris said he got tired in the second half after spending much of the game chasing down Paul Lee, and later Jeff Chan, on the defensive end.
“Gusto ni coach maging agresibo pa rin ako. Napagod lang ako sa kakahabol sa dalawang shooters nila (Elasto Painters). Wala din kasi si Jonas, malaking bagay talaga siya sa team. Pero ganun talaga, yan ang role ko dito,” said Pingris, who managed to finish with 14 points and seven rebounds in 38 minutes of play.
Jeff Chan managed to break out of his three-game shooting slump as he led the Elasto Painters with 18 points, spiked by three-of-five shooting from three-point region .
“We can stay with them in the match-ups coming into this game. They (Mixers) were the best defensive team. But I also know we are the second best defensive team in terms of field goal percentage. You have two good defensive teams playing against each other so it’s just a matter of execution. I’m happy with the way we moved the ball,” added Guiao.