WHAT Rain or Shine did in the series opener worked brilliantly, and any change in strategy for Game Two will only be made on the fly to counter whatever adjustment Barangay Ginebra makes when they clash anew on Friday in the PBA Philippine Cup best-of-three quarterfinals on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters dominated Game One from start to finish, dealing the Gin Kings an ego-deflating 82-65 defeat on Wednesday.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao expects Barangay Ginebra to come out strong in their 7:30 p.m. match, but he believes they can repeat Wednesday’s feat and prevent the series from going the full route.
“Wala naman kami masyadong magiging adjustment. We will just have to maintain whatever good thing we did sa Game One, especially yung sa defense namin,” Guiao told Spin.ph.
The fiery Rain or Shine mentor was pleased to see his team win the battle of the boards, 55-53, againt the league's top rebounding team as well as dominate the assist department, 23-17. Their defense was also superb throughout the game, as seen in Barangay Ginebra’s paltry 30.6 percent shooting (22-of-72).
“I’m sure they will regroup. Ginebra is a veteran team. And being down one game is something that is manageable for them. Sila LA (Tenorio) and Mark (Caguioa), nanggaling na sila sa ganitong mga sitwasyon sa playoffs,” added Guiao.
Caguioa is confident that the Gin Kings will rise and forge a Game Three.
“Best-of-three… I’m pretty sure we could bring it on to Sunday. We just got to be mentally strong, both defense and our offense have to be okay. Dahil Game One? Wala eh, 30 percent (shooting), we can’t win on that kind of offense,” said Caguioa, who still led the Gin Kings with 16 points though he just shot 4-of-13 from the field.
Tenorio, the team’s top point guard, had a quiet six points as he struggled against the defense of Rain or Shine rookie Chris Tiu.
Jayjay Helterbrand, who used to start at point guard before Tenorio’s arrival during the offseason, said they will have to play with pride and a sense of urgency come Game Two in order to regain momentum in the series.
“I think we’re better when our backs against the wall, we’ve proven that many times. Yung sense of urgency ang kulang ng team eh. It was really bad, so horrible, something that the fans, didn’t deserve because they paid hard-earned money. We need to play with pride on Friday,” added Helterbrand.