RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao believes the Elasto Painters can learn a thing or two from Purefoods' stunning loss to Meralco that ended its dream of a fifth straight PBA championship on Thursday night.
Guiao described the Hotshots’ early playoff exit as a ‘surprise’ for Tim Cone's troops, who had made it to the finals four straight conferences starting in the 2013 Governors Cup.
“It’s (Purefoods Star’s playoff exit) a surprise. It’s really a big surprise, but they had such a good run, parang it was too good to last,” Guiao told Spin.ph after the team’s practice on Friday at the Nega gym in San Juan.
“With what they (Hotshots) have accomplished, I guess normal lang na magkaroon sila ng bad nights, though they seemed almost invincible dun sa last three conferences.”
Rain or Shine booked one of two automatic semifinal berth in the season-opening conference with a 9-2 (win-loss) record after finishing the eliminations with seven straight wins.
San Miguel notched the other outright semis seat.
Guiao did admit Purefoods has given his team fits in terms of match-ups owing to the presence of Joe Devance, the 6-foot-7 Fil-Am who can play the ‘point-forward’ position.
The left-handed Devance actually proved to be the thorn in Rain or Shine’s side last season as the Elasto Painters lost to the Hotshots in last season’s Philippine Cup Finals, 4-2.
“We know that can happen to the best of the teams, and I guess, it’s also a lesson for us,” he added.
Guiao explained that even if Rain or Shine is on its fifth straight semifinal appearance, the team can’t lower its guard at this point, reminding the Elasto Painters that a championship is still the ultimate goal.
“We’ve been consistent. I think for the last five conferences, nasa semis kami. We’re very happy with that kind of consistency, but in the end, you want to win a championship,” said the 55-year-old Guiao, who also serves as congressman of the first district of Pampanga.
“You just don’t want to be in the semis only because the more you give yourself a chance to contend, the more you get to the Finals, the higher the probability of making it (winning the title). Iyun lang ang habol namin, which is to give yourself a chance, so we’re just banking on that,” he added.
Rain or Shine still has a week to polish its plays before facing the winner of the Alaska-Meralco series in a best-of-seven semifinal affair.