RAIN or Shine is not expecting another comfortable win, but the Painters are confident they can withstand any fightback from Talk ‘N Text as they clash in Game Four of the PBA Commissioner Cup Finals on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Painters hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and try to extend the gap, but coach Yeng Guiao is expecting things to get much tougher.
Guiao admitted he was surprised to see his team take the driver’s seat three games into the series, considering that they are up against with a Talk ‘N Text side that has won multiple championships over the last six years.
“We’re pleasantly surprised we won the game by double digit (in Game Three) and won the last game by eight points,” Guiao said.
“We did not think we can win that comfortably.”
Game time is at 7 p.m.
The fiery Rain or Shine coach isn’t expecting any blowout game from hereon, aware that Talk ‘N Text has enough ammunition and championship experience to get back in the series.
“Our next game is gonna be a lot closer so we have to be prepared in the endgame kasi di naman namin iniisip yung tatambakan namin ang TNT.
“We have to carve it out,” added Guiao.
Of the last 33 PBA teams that took a 3-1 bubble in a best-of-seven title series, 32 squads went on to win the championship.
Rain or Shine star Paul Lee is expected to play with his denture and mouth guard on, determined to help the Asian Coating franchise end its three-year title drought.
The six-foot guard said it doesn’t matter if he will have to endure the rough plays Talk ‘N Text import Ivan Johnson has shown in the series.
“Hindi siya (Johnson) yung priority ko. Ang priority ko manalo eh “Wala sa kanya ang focus ko eh kung hindi paano kami manalo,” said Lee.
On the the hand, Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico said Jayson Castro remains as the team’s top offensive weapon, though he expects Johnson to find ways to score in order to keep Rain or Shine’s defense away from the combo guard.
“Ivan Johnson naman picks his spots. He’s the type of player na kung swerte si Jayson, ‘why do I have to take over the game?’ So ngayon, medyo kung kailangang pumuntos, he will find a way to score,” said Uichico.