HISTORY has been made only recently, so fresh in the minds of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
The Welbest franchise won for the third straight time on Wednesday night over Alaska in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals to move on the verge of wrapping up the best-of-seven series and claim its first crown in four years.
But the Elasto Painters also know their history, having witnessed Alaska race to a similar 3-0 lead over San Miguel in the Philippine Cup finals, only to allow the Beermen to pull off the greatest ever comeback in the league's 41-year history.
Rain or Shine, therefore, is looking to pounce on every opportunity of putting the last nail on Alaska’s coffin, beginning with Game Four on Friday.
“Championship, 'yun lang,” said gunner Jeff Chan on what’s the mind set of the team on the eve of Game Four.
“Ayaw namin silang bigyan ng chance. Ayaw namin mangyari 'yung nangyari sa kanila,” added the Gilas Pilipinas mainstay. “If kaya naming matapos (sa Friday), gagawin namin yun.”
Star guard Paul Lee also adopts the same mentality, stressing the Elasto Painters are in a perfect position to deny the Aces a second straight championship this season.
“Hindi ako nakarating sa ganitong sitwasyon sa career ko sa PBA, kaya sana wag na naming pabayaan,” said Lee, who sat out with an injury the first time Rain or Shine won a championship in 2012.
“Ito na yung pinakamagandang chance, wala ng iba pang gaganda dito,” stressed the former University of the East stalwart. “Kung sino yung mas may gusto, kailangan mas gustuhin namin sa kanila para makuha namin yung championship.”
Even coach Yeng Guiao is wary of the possibility of history repeating itself.
“We have a 3-0 lead and we have one foot inside the door. But again it happened before and it can happen again,” he said. “And that’s going to be on our mind. We don’t want to be in that position.”
He said everything will have to go down to ‘mental focus’ for the Elasto Painters.
“We’ll do everything we can to finish this on Friday,” said the fiery mentor, eyeing to win a seventh championship in the league.