YENG Guiao was calm and relaxed, hardly looking like a coach whose team had just lost the opener of a Finals series against no less than the defending champion.
That only goes to show how confident he is with this Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
Despite going down 1-0 in the best-of-seven series against Talk `N Text for the PBA Philippine Cup title, Guiao believes his team has the capacity to bounce back and make a fight out of this.
"I’m still very positive and confident about our chances. It’s the first game," said Guiao after the 81-87 loss in Game One. "I think the stats and the numbers will indicate we beat them in most departments except that our three-point shooting was really bad. They had six more three point shots than we did. That’s 18 points.”
Guiao lamented how his team shot just 4-of-21 overall from beyond the arc, while allowing the Tropang Texters to score 18 points from the very same spot.
The point discrepancy from three-point region was too much to overcome even for a blue-collar team such as Rain or Shine, which nonetheless, still managed to charge back from a 17-point deficit and made a game out of it down the stretch.
And for Guiao that’s one positive thing for his team.
Likewise, he said the Elasto Painters would continue doing what they have planned throughout the series – keep on running.
“I think this is going to be a relentless running game for both teams. Whichever team gives up on the pace and speed will end up at the short end of this series,” said Guiao, who’s on a mission to win his first-ever Philippine Cup title, and at the same time prevent Talk `N Text from clinching its third straight all-Filipino championship.
“But if it turns into a sprinting contest, I’m confident we can win.”
At the same time, Guiao said their shots from the outside need to fall come Game Two in order to open the driving lane for slashing players like Paul Lee, Jeff Chan, and even Ryan Arana.
“It’s important that we’re able to connect on our perimeter shooting so we can open up the driving lanes. The middle was just clogged. And as long as we can balance our offense with a running game, with our offensive rebounding, then hit some three-point shots, that’s the key to balancing our offense,” he added.