DESPITE his team down in the PBA Governors Cup semifinals series, Yeng Guiao, the coach of defending champion Rain or Shine, still likes the chances of his team.
“We’re still very positive about our chances,” said Guiao a day after the Elasto Painters’ 93-101 loss to top seed Petron in the opener of their best-of-five series.
The fiery mentor said breaks of the game just didn’t go Rain or Shine's way in the stretch run. And yet, the reigning title holder still managed to stick it out with the Boosters’ powerhouse cast, he pointed out.
“In Game One, we gave ourselves a really good chance to win. And despite all our shortcomings, in terms of not having a complete lineup, with less talent going up against a very talented team, we’re able to make it a close game,” said Guiao, whose team even held a 77-73 win midway through the fourth period.
“For us, we know that Petron Blaze is beatable.”
At the same time, the Rain or Shine coach is hopeful officiating will improve in Wednesday’s Game Two at the Astrodome, citing game officials made some glaring "miscalls" in the second half which he believes affected the outcome of the game.
“It was the officiating that collapsed. There were several things that were really glaring like si (Petron import elijah) Millsap na nga sumagasa kay Chris (Tiu) and Gabe (Norwood), sa amin pa ang foul. Tapos si June Mar (Fajardo) hindi natatawagan ng three-second violation,” he stressed.
“It was really a close game. The score doesn’t show it. If the refs called it right, and if they can call it right, we do have a better chance to win.”
For Petron coach Gee Abanilla, the Boosters’ win is a healthy sign his team is capable of keeping its poise in the endgame.
Engaged in a neck-and-neck affair against a short-handed Rain or Shine squad, Petron rode on import Millsap’s fourth-quarter explosion to pull of the Game One win Monday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Boosters are now eyeing a commanding 2-0 lead against Rain or Shine, which will again play without injured sophomore guard Paul Lee and back-up center JR Quinahan in their 7:15 p.m. encounter.
“A win is a win. We did something good also like getting the right kind of formula that could work in this semis,” said Abanilla, a former assistant of Guiao during their days with Red Bull.
“I am really happy with the way we held on to that (Game One) lead. It’s a good thing we stayed focus.”
The Boosters’ eight-point win stretched the team’s winning streak to 10, dating back to the single-round eliminations all the way to the quarterfinals. The victory was also the longest winning run for the San Miguel franchise since 1989 when the team won a rare Grand Slam.