RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao felt like looking in the mirror when he saw Globalport counterpart Junel Baculi tossed out in tail end of the third quarter of their PBA Governors Cup quarterfinal playoffs on Thursday night.
“It was like a déjà vu. Parang nakikita ko 'yung sarili ko 'nung lumalabas siya. Pero this time it’s the other way around,” said Guiao in the post-game interview shortly after the Elasto Painters ended the Batang Pier's season with a 108-106 victory.
“Naunahan lang ako. Buti nauna siya, baka kasi ako rin magka-ganun,” added a smiling Guiao, whose short temper contributed to his own share of ejections in the past.
Turning serious, the multi-titled mentor and congressman from the first district of Pampanga admitted the loss of Baculi was a big blow to the cause of a Globalport side that’s seeing action in its first playoff stint.
“That was a really big break for us,” said Guiao of the incident that took place at the 2:08 mark of the third period and the Batang Pier holding on to a slim 74-73 lead.
Baculi was called for his second technical foul after having a few words with referee Jimmy Mariano. His first came at the 6:50 mark of the second quarter.
Deputy Glenn Capacio took over the coaching reins from Baculi.
Although the Batang Pier managed to fight tooth and nail until the final seconds, the Elasto Painters’ experience made the big difference in the end with national team mainstay Gabe Norwood hitting a huge three-pointer in the final 17 seconds for a 107-103 lead.
“That was a big relief for us. We were just able to grind out a win against a ballclub that is getting better every game,” said Guiao.