COACH Yeng Guiao said he doesn’t intend to change the playing style that has earned Rain or Shine nine straight wins, including a big victory that put them one step ahead of Petron Blaze in the semifinals.
The run-and-gun basketball continues for the E-Painters as they battle the Boosters in Game Two of the best-of-five series on Wednesday in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Guiao explained that the team is designed to run, particularly against a tall team like Petron, a big reason why Rain or Shine was able to pocket Game One, 103-95.
The E-Painters pounced on the Boosters’ 25 turnovers in the series-opener by scoring 25 points in transition.
“No, wala na kaming iibahin. We just want to play the same pace and have the same intensity because we won with that kind of strategy,” Guiao said, whose team faces off with Petron at 8 p.m.
But considering that talent depth of Petron, the fiery Rain or Shine mentor expects star playmaker Alex Cabagnot and Chris Lutz to get back into scoring groove.
“We held Alex and Chris Lutz to four points each the last game, but I don’t think that can be done every time. So the challenge now is how to survive and play well defensively,” he added.
As always, the focus of the E-Painters is neutralizing the Boosters’ size, particularly sophomore center June Mar Fajardo, who led Petron in Game One with 23 points.
Guiao also expects Petron coach Gee Abanilla to try and counter the E-Painters’ running game by digging deep into his bench.
“Coach Gee is a smart coach. He understands the adjustments he needs to make. I feel he will go more to his bench in order to preserve his starters,” said Guiao.
Abanilla, meantime, wants the Boosters to be prepared to play tough against the rugged E-Painters, knowing that in the semifinals, the level of intensity will have to go up.
“We witnessed it first hand that it (Game One) is really physical. Somehow we weren’t able to adjust (on the physicality) but towards the end we’re trying to play the same way,” said Abanilla.
“Obviously, it (effort) wasn’t enough. So against this team, the mindset is we got to play tough also.”