YENG Guiao is hoping to finally see a semblance of consistency from his team when Rain or Shine battles surprise co-leader Meralco in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Despite winning its last two assignments after opening the tournament on a losing note, Guiao believes the team still has a lot of room for improvement going to the 4:15 p.m. encounter with the unbeaten Bolts.
“I’m hoping that just by being able to carve out wins is going to help us gain that rhythm that we are looking for, because so far, it’s (rhythm) not yet there,” Guiao said after the team's 104-98 win over GlobalPort.
The fiery Rain or Shine mentor admitted the team’s past two wins weren’t impressive, considering how they blew a big lead before warding off the endgame rallies of NLEX and Globalport, respectively.
“It’s always useful to be able to ward off those kinds of fightbacks by the other teams,” he said.
“It helps you stay strong and prepare for other games, but I just feel you can’t keep testing yourself. You have to win some games comfortably because if you keep putting yourself in a position to lose, you will eventually lose.”
Against Meralco, Rain or Shine will have to contend with a team that thrives mainly on a strong perimeter defense anchored on athletic import Josh Davis.
The Bolts are one of the tournament’s top defensive teams so far, holding their opponents to just 79 points on the way to a franchise-best 3-0 start.
Davis is averaging 17.6 points and 20.0 rebounds, while leading the league with 4.3 steals and 1.0 block per contest.
“Against Rain or Shine, everything will be about our ability to handle their pace,” said Meralco coach Norman Black. “We must get back and slow down their transition plays.”