BARANGAY Ginebra tries to complete the upset and Rain or Shine hopes to avert an early exit when they clash in Game Three of their PBA Philippine Cup best-of-three quarterfinals at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.
The Gin Kings came out with more energy and passion to score a 79-77 win in Game Two and tie the best-of-three series behind the heroics of Rudy Hatfield, Mark Caguioa and rookies Chris Ellis and Yousef Taha. The Elasto Painters took Game One with an emphatic 82-65 victory.
With momentum swinging to its side, sixth seed Barangay Ginebra hopes to turn back No. 3 Rain or Shine in the 5 p.m. rubber match.
Barangay Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen stressed they haven’t accomplished anything much, except to bring the series back to square one.
“In a way, nai-back to zero-zero lang namin. It comes down to Sunday. I don’t expect it to be easy. Rain or Shine is a tough team. They are very resilient. It’s gonna be an interesting game on Sunday,” said Tanquingcen.
With the Gin Kings playing zone for much of the game, the Elasto Painters took 33 attempts from beyond the arc, making only nine with top gun Jeff Chan hitting just two of 10.
“Iyung three-point shot nila is always a concern. They (Elasto Painters) are shooting high percentage, kahit nga big men nila nagti-three points eh. I have high respect kay coach Yeng (Guiao). The guards also are always a concern. Sa akin lang, everybody plays to their strength. At least somehow, we need to challenge those shots,” explained Tanquingcen.
Caguioa said he expects the Gin Kings to carry on the Game Two intensity on Sunday.
“We’re just gonna play the same. We need better intensity. They (Elasto Painters) are physical always, but we don’t have to worry about it. Di mo na iisipin yung masasaktan. We were down 0-1 and we needed the game, we got one. I think we just have to bring the same intensity on Sunday. It’s a do or die game… you know they are going to do something different,” noted Caguioa, the reigning MVP.
Guiao, meantime, said if given an opportunity to shoot those threes, they will take them again in Game Three.
“Nagkataon iyun (shooting three-point shots) na nag-sona sila. The zone gave us a lot of opportunities to shoot the three, we like that but we didn’t make enough. If given the same opportunity, we’ll take that opportunity,” said Guiao.
The fiery Rain or Shine mentor said the key to winning Game Three is controlling the rebounding department. In Game One, Rain or Shine held a 55-53 edge but in Game Two, Barangay Ginebra’s big men controlled the boards, 59-47.
“Rebounding na naman namin masyadong malaki ang agwat. If we win the rebounding, we win the game… so the effort we had in Game Two was not the kind of effort we had like in Game One.
“I think they outworked us off the boards. Iyun lang naman ang simple evaluation for the game. Di na rin siguro malalayo dun ang Game Three because it’s a matter of who works hard off the boards and defense. Kami kahit di na manalo sa rebounds basta di lang malayo… yung mga dalawa or tatlo, kaya pa, huwag lang yung labing dalawa, kahit three four rebounds difference. mahirap talaga talunin kung mga 12 rebounds ang lamang,” explained Guiao.