RAIN or Shine won 94-89 last Sunday to take a 3-1 lead over B-Meg in their best-of-seven championship series for the PBA Governors Cup.
Is a first-ever title in the bag for the Asian Coatings franchise?
Since the league first staged a best-of-seven series in the 1982 Reinforced Filipino Conference Finals and prior to this conference, there had already been 36 teams which took 3-1 leads in a race-to-four-wins semis or Finals. From that number, 33 teams went on to win the series, including 31 of 32 in a PBA Finals.
The only three teams which were able to battle back from a 1-3 deficit to win a best-of-7 series were:
Talk ‘N Text vs. Petron Blaze 2011-12 Philippine Cup SEMIS
Purefoods vs. Alaska 2006 Philippine Cup SEMIS
Ginebra vs. Shell 1991 First Conference FINALS
So if there’s one head coach who knows that winning a series from 1-3 down can be done, it should be B-Meg’s Tim Cone, who was with Alaska in that 2006 Philippine Cup semis where his team held 2-0 and 3-1 leads against the very same franchise he’s handling now -- only to lose the series.
Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao should also have a fairly good idea that such a lead is not insurmountable.
In the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference when Guiao was still mentor of Red Bull, his team took a 3-1 lead in a semifinal series against Barangay Ginebra, which went on to win Games Five and Six to force a Game Seven – the only other time it happened other than the three instances mentioned above.
But the Red Bull Thunder eventually won the decider 83-79 en route to beating Purefoods in the Finals.