IT was a big mistake Meralco made by playing the Rain or Shine way.
Coach Ryan Gregorio admitted the Bolts fell into a trap by engaging in physical plays the Elasto Painters and forgot to go back to basics that gave them a huge 57-31 lead in the third quarter of their PBA Philippine Cup game Wednesday night.
By the time the Bolts regained their senses, the tide had obviously turned in favor of the undermanned Elasto Painters, who went on and complete their fightback from 26-points down with a memorable 102-98 overtime win.
“We lost our composure because all of a sudden, we tried to fight them (Elasto Painters), instead of doing that on the basketball court,” admitted Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio.
“May mga bagay na masasakit na dapat lang ituro.”
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said the ejection of big man JR Quinahan at the 8:06 mark of the third quarter for a flagrant foul 2 committed against a driving Sol Mercado sparked the Elasto Painters hard-climb to the top.
“I think what fired us up was the JR incident. We drew a lot of energy and motivation from that incident,” said Guiao.
It was after Quinahan’s ejection that Meralco also began to unravel.
After Quinahan, Ryan Arana was next to ejected late in the game for hitting rookie Cliff Hodge in the groin while going for a basket, leaving the Elasto Painters one more personnel less with Paul Lee and rookie Chris Tiu already nursing injuries.
But by that time, momentum was already on Rain or Shine’s side.
“I guess the guys just got fired up,” admitted Guiao.
Good for Rain or Shine. But definitely bad for Meralco.