RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao refused to blame fatigue for the Elasto Painters’ 91-94 loss to Meralco in Game One of their best-of-three PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal series on Monday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Painters played for the second straight night, but the outspoken mentor insisted his wards were as fresh as ever.
“Wala naman kaming complaints or excuses. We don’t want to put it (fatigue) forward as a factor,” Guiao said after the loss. “We want to be playing every day. Okay lang sa akin 'yun. Kahit araw-araw maglalaro.”
Instead, the multi-titled mentor pinned the blame on his team’s lack of “focus on defense” down the stretch.
Guiao singled out his team’s defense on the hot-shooting Gary David, who torched the net with 22 points in the second half after being held to just five in the first.
“Nung pumutok siya, nawalan kami ng focus nung stretch na' yun. That turned the momentum around. Also, they made some tough shots,” he said, referring to Bolts import Darnell Jackson’s timely baskets.
Guiao also felt the Painters failed to get some of the referees’ calls he thought they deserved, including a non-call on Paul Lee, who, the coach felt, was fouled when he drove the lane in a possession that led to Jackson’s step-back jumper that wrote the final score.
Guiao also felt Jackson committed a charging foul when the import made the fadeaway jumper that gave the Bolts the lead for good at 92-91.
Still, Guiao is unfazed with the deficit the Painters have to overhaul in the best-of-three series.
“I’m still confident in the series. I think we can beat them twice.”