TWO games into the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup semifinals playoffs and Rain or Shine surprisingly finds itself leading fancied Petron 2-0, in the best-of-seven series.
Gunner Paul Lee credits the Elasto Painters’ deep bench and the 'unusual’ rotation of coach Yeng Guiao for the success that had the team just two wins shy of making it back to the Finals of the all-Filipino conference.
Compared to other teams which mostly utilize a regular eight or nine-man rotation such as the Boosters, Guiao uses all 14 players every game, which according to Lee, keeps Rain or Shine’s starters fresh heading into the critical stretch of the match.
“Alam na namin 'yung role namin, na kapag pinasok ka, kailangan mo ibigay ang 100 percent mo kahit one or two minutes (playing time) lang yan,” Lee said after a 104-94 win in Game Two on Wednesday night that saw the Painters fight back from a 13-point fourth quarter deficit.
“Iyun (deeper rotation) ang lamang namin dahil ang rotation namin mahaba.”
With a regular supply of fresh legs off the bench, Rain or Shine can afford to run and gun which it has been successfully doing so far against Petron in the series.
The former Rookie of the Year said the series will get no easier from here on especially with Petron desperate to punch in a first win or stare at a deep 0-3 hole with another loss in Game Three on Saturday.
“Nakita niyo naman kung gaano kahirap. Sobrang hirap (to get the win). Pero `yung nanalo ka sa ganung klaseng laro, sobrang nakakawala ng pagod, lahat ng nararamdanam mo natatanggal,” he added.
Lee said scaling the double-digit deficit and eventually pulling off the win was even more difficult to accomplish when game officials started making what he thought were “spotty” calls.
“Alam naman nating di pabor sa amin kanina (calls). Naging matatag lang kami, saka di kami nag-give up ng maaga,” he said.
Lee said the Elasto Painters need to just maintain their aggressiveness and ensure they break the will of the Boosters to claim the series.
“Stay aggressive lang. We need to run, that’s the key (to win the series).”