FOR the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, the holiday celebration will have to wait.
For the moment, they would rather focus on the greater task ahead – regain their pride and the series momentum in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series against San Mig Coffee.
The two teams work their butts off on Christmas Day as they square off in a special one-game treat on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is set at 5:15 p.m.
The Mixers leveled the semifinal playoff at one-game apiece after a 106-82 blowout win in Game Two.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao admits the Elasto Painters got frustrated with officiating, resulting in the 24-point rout that was the worst loss suffered by the franchise since Guiao took over as coach.
But following a three-day break, Guiao is confident his team has a good chance at regaining the series momentum.
“We just need to fight off the frustration. We expect Game Three to be a lot closer because again, that’s the norm in the playoffs. You don’t expect blowout losses lagi,” Guiao said.
The fiery Rain or Shine coach said his team is focusing its defensive effort on stopping high-scoring James Yap, who despite playing with a hurting right knee, scattered 16 of his personal conference-best 34 points in leading the Mixers to the series-tying win.
“We have no major adjustments to make. We just need to have the proper mindset. We just need to keep the defensive energy high. If we can keep the game close, we have a better chance of winning,” added Guiao.
The Mixers shot 50.6 percent (40-of-79) in Game Two, with Yap going seven-of-12 from beyond the arc, while sophomore point guard Andy Mark Barroca added 17 points on seven-of-10 shooting from the field.
The Mixers romp easily erased the Game One psychological edge Rain or Shine established when it drew first blood in the series via a 91-83 win
Mixers coach Tim Cone said Barroca will be getting some help from team skipper Jonas Villanueva, who will be playing for the first time in the series since going down with dengue more than a week ago.
Cone said the Mixers cannot be contented with what they accomplished, considering the Elasto Painters are capable of bouncing back.
"They play with great ferociousness and if you don’t match that, you don’t have a chance to beat them,” said Cone.