RAIN or Shine tries to build on its amazing performance the last time as it battles San Miguel Beer in Game Three of their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series Monday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters are still oozing with confidence after pulling off one the most incredible comebacks in the league in recent memory, a 113-110 win over the Beermen last Saturday that evened the best-of-five series at one game apiece.
And they hope a victory like that where they rallied from 20 points down would be enough to turn the series around for good.
“Let’s draw some inspiration from the game and make it a platform for renewing our commitment,” said Painters coach Yeng Guiao, whose team canceled out its Game One loss where the opposite happened: they squandered an even bigger 24-point lead to lose, 101-95.
The Elasto Painters gave a glimpse of their defensive game plan for Game Three, the same ploy that enabled them to make that fightback behind a super performance by import Wendel Mckines. It requires a balance between managing to double-team SMB reinforcement AZ Reid as well as challenging their shooters.
“We tried to fine-tune our defense in the fourth quarter because that’s the defense we’re going to use in the next game,” Guiao said.
Whether that will continue to work for 48 minutes or not will be known as Game Three tips off at 7 p.m.
“We have to react quicker,” Guiao continued. “We have to challenge the three-point shots after we get off the double-team. Siguraduhin natin makaka-challenge tayo ng three-point shot ni (Marcio) Lassiter, especially.”
Lassiter still wound up with a playoff-high-tying 10 treys on the way to a career-high 31 points as he led the SMB onslaught.
Fortunately for the Painters, McKines responded with his own super-human effort, going for a league season-high 53 points on 16-of-23 shooting from the field and 20-of-26 from the foul line in 43 minutes.
And that’s the main focus of the Beermen.
“I think we have to give special treatment to Wendell,” said Beermen coach Leo Austria, who already had planned something for the small-sized, big-hearted Rain or Shine import, only to abandon it after Lassiter went on a tear.
“We have a plan to contain him but we got overwhelmed by Marcio's outside shooting and we thought hindi na mangyayari yon and hindi na sila makakahabol. But this is the PBA, a lot has happened and anything can happen,” Austria admitted.
“Hopefully we can do better against him.”