WITH the game on the line and a split second left on the clock, every player in a Rain or Shine uniform from TY Tang to JR Quinahan knew they have the license to take a shot from head coach Yeng Guiao.
There's just one caveat: hesitate and expect a tongue-lashing from Guiao.
"Lahat yan ready to shoot. Hindi sila pupuwedeng mag hesitate. Tine-train namin yan," said Guiao, who makes it a point to ask his players to allot extra 30 to 45 minutes of practice time to polish their shot from almost every angle and distance on the court.
That extra practice paid dividends on Wednesday night when JR Quinahan - of all people - received the inbound pass with seven-tenths of a second left in the clock and beat the buzzer with a three-pointer that lifted the E-Painters to an 89-86 win over a stunned Meralco side.
"Di ko alam na ako ang titira dun. Basta ang sabi ni coach, bubuka yung mga gwardya sa gilid tapos pag 'nag switch, tumira na kahit sino may hawak ng bola," said Quinahan.
Even rookie Raymond Almazan said under the same situation, he was trained by Guiao not to hesitate to take the shot.
"Ititira ko talaga yun. Inaral namin 'yun eh," said the 6-7 beanpole out of Letran. "Saka mas mapapagalitan ako kung di ko ititira 'yun. Kay coach Yeng, kailangan buo ang loob mo. Kundi masasabon ka."
Hard-nosed guard Ryan Arana added: "Sa ibang team kasi pag ganun na last second, usually guard ang titira. Sa amin, kahit sino pwede. Di na nga gaano nagbalasa ng tao si coach nung last timeout na 'yun, di ba?"
After Gary David buried a game-tying three pointer from way out, Guiao put in Quinahan to replace Jireh Ibanes and join Jeff Chan, Beau Belga, Paul Lee and inbounder Gabe Norwood on the floor.
Quinahan had missed all three of his attempts from three-point land in the game but, after designing a play to free Lee for a potential game-winner, Guiao's last words coming out of a timeout were for Quinahan.
"Pagkatapos mong mag-set ng pick, pop out ka," he told his Cebuano big man.
Quinahan said he was surprised to get the inbound from Norwood in the final play, but said he had no time to hesitate.
"Nung pinasa sa akin bigla ni Gabe, di na ko nagkaroon ng pagkakataong magulat. Tinira ko na agad. Buti pumasok," said the wide-bodied slotman.
The shot went in.
Rain or Shine assistant Caloy Garcia bared that it has never been Guiao's practice to blame his players who'd miss the potential game-winning shot.
"Kay coach Yeng pag libre ka, itira mo. Pag na shoot, okay. Pag hindi, okay din," said Garcia, who applies the same principle with D-League side Hogs Breathe Cafe. "Mas kawawa ka pag hindi mo 'yun tinira."