COACH Yeng Guiao was quick to brush off Rain or Shine’s monumental collapse in the second half in 87-80 loss to a hard-fighting Alaska side in the opener of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Since the series is a best-of-seven, Guiao is confident that the Elasto Painters have enough time to plot their next move and recover come Game Two on Saturday.
“I’m really hopeful naman na we can come back,” said Guiao, who remained cool and collected, even after seeing his team blow a 17-point lead in the first half.
“We had control of the game in the first half, but they (Aces) came back hard at us. We turned the ball over many times,” he added.
The fiery Rain or Shine cited Alaska’s pressure defense as the biggest factor for the Elasto Painters’ second-half collapse, which allowed the Aces to get their points off turnovers.
“The press feeds off turnovers eh. Ine-encourage mo sila to press if you commit turnovers, and that’s a big challenge to us to manage our turnovers when they do the pressing defense,” he said, pointing to Rain or Shine’s 19 turnovers which Alaska converted to 23 points.
Although Rain or Shine’s seven straight victories this season came to an end, Guiao believes the loss can be some sort of a wake-up call for his Elasto Painters.
“Parang wake-up call iyan (loss). We tried hard but we couldn’t sustain it,” he said.
Rain or Shine, which averages close to nine three-point conversions this conference, shot a miserable 5-of-29 in Game One for a paltry 17 percent shooting clip.
Combo guard Paul Lee, who had a quiet seven points, went 0-of-6 while Beau Belga missed his two attempts from beyond the arc.
Jeff Chan and Jonathan Uyloan fired two triples apiece.