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    Which between Ginebra, San Mig does he want to face in finals? Guiao speaks

    Feb 8, 2014
    Paul Lee and Beau Belga celebrate after Rain or Shine booked a return trip to the PBA Philippine Cup Finals by dispatching Petron in five games. Jerome Ascano

    AFTER watching his Rain or Shine team cut June Mar Fajardo and powerhouse Petron down to size in Game Five on Friday night, coach Yeng Guiao is ready to take on all comers.

    The outspoken coach is raring to spoil San Miguel's party.

    The only non-San Miguel team to reach the Final Four of the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup, Rain or Shine took another step closer to a first-ever all-Filipino championship by dispatching Petron is five games in their best-of-seven series.

    Now the coach who has won six league championships but never an all-Filipino title said he is no longer fazed by either San Mig or Barangay Ginebra - the two SMC teams contending for the other finals berth in a separate series which the Mixers currently lead, 3-2.

    “Andito na kami. So ano pa ang gagawin namin kundi bulabugin din ang asam nila run (championship)," said the Rain or Shine coach. "Magandang laban ito (finals).”

    The former national coach had been in awe of Ginebra early in the season, saying the rejigged team has no weakness. But after seeing his beefy but undersized frontline manhandle Fajardo and Co., Guiao said he no longer fears the Kings' Twin Towers combination.

    “Hindi ako takot 'dun. Hindi ako ilag sa Twin Towers ng Ginebra. Na-prove na namin na makakasabay kami,” said Guiao.

    The veteran bench tactician said he feels Petron’s one-two frontline punch of Arwind Santos and Fajardo is more seasoned than Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter-Japeth Aguilar combine - and tougher to deal with.

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    “Kung tutuusin, mas experienced pa nga 'yung Fajardo-Arwind kaysa sa Slaughter-Aguilar,” he added.

    “Ready na kami sa Ginebra. After ng ipinakita namin sa series na ito (against Petron), parang ganun din halos yun (Ginebra),” added the Pampanga solon known for his short fuse as much for his ability to bring the best out of his players.

    As for San Mig, Guiao said the fact that the Elasto Painters beat Tim Cone's team in seven games in the 2012 Governors Cup Finals is no guarantee that they can beat the Mixers again in the event they cross paths in the conference finale.

    “Noong araw 'yun, tinalo naming sila (San Mig). Pero hindi mo pwedeng ipagmalaki na dati tinatalo mo sila, kaya mo ulit talunin. Hindi araw-araw Pasko,” he said.

    But what Guiao is certain of is that this Rain or Shine team is in much better compared to last season's team that got beat up by Talk 'N Text in the Philippine Cup Finals - thanks to another year of seasoning and vital pieces added during the offseason.

    “Basta kung sino ang makaharap namin, sisiguraduhin namin na handa kami sa kanila. Sa tingin ko ang team namin this year, mas handang mag-champion kaysa last year,” he said. “Malaki kasi ang naging maturity at experience ng team na ito. Mas luto, mas malalim ang chemistry nito.”

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    Paul Lee and Beau Belga celebrate after Rain or Shine booked a return trip to the PBA Philippine Cup Finals by dispatching Petron in five games. Jerome Ascano
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