RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao wasn’t alarmed at all after his team’s heartbreaker of a loss against Barangay Ginebra a week ago in a game that saw the Elasto Painters yielded an 18-point second-quarter lead.
It’s their coming showdown against the San Mig Coffee Mixers which has Guiao’s attention all along.
The one-time national coach believes the winner of their 6:30 p.m. clash on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum will already be a cinch for the remaining twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals of the PBA Philippine Cup.
So more than the setback against the Kings, it’s the outcome of Rain or Shine’s latest match-up with Tim Cone and San Mig Coffee that matters more for last season’s Coach of the Year.
“The important game is the San Mig game,” said Guiao days after his team’s 97-90 loss to the Kings that relegated the Elasto Painters to third place at 8-4, just half a game behind the second-running Mixers (8-3).
“I’m sure the motivation will be there because that’s the game that would put us in second place.”
Defending champion Talk `N Text has already clinched the No. 1 spot and the first twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs following its 95-82 whipping of Petron. The Tropang Texters own the league’s best record of 11-2.
That easily makes the clash between the Elasto Painters and Mixers a virtual toss-up for the No. 2 spot.
Rain or Shine edged out San Mig Coffee in their first-round encounter, 80-79, which also marked their first meeting since the Elasto Painters beat the Mixers in the deciding Game Seven of the Governors Cup Finals.
The Elasto Painters round up their elimination campaign against Barako Bull on December 7, while the Mixers still have to deal with Globalport on December 7 and Meralco on December 9.
Like Rain or Shine, San Mig Coffee is also coming off more than a week’s rest since beating Air21, 89-80.