COACH Yeng Guiao is taking the blame for letting a won game slip from Rain or Shine’s grasp.
Rain or Shine had momentum when it established a 13-point lead in the fourth period, but allowed Meralco to stage a vicious fightback in the final seven minutes to escape with a 92-87 victory at the Big Dome on Tuesday night.
“I’ll take the blame for it kasi yung lead namin, we got a 13-point lead and we started to rest our key players and we put in our subs, but the problem was, our subs couldn’t hold the fort and I think I overplayed them a little bit,” Guiao told sportswriters after his team’s monumental collapse.
Guiao said playing substitutes Jonathan Uyloan, TY Tang and JR Quinahan for an extended period of time in the final period, instead of their regular starters, allowed Meralco to seize the momentum.
However, Guiao felt officiating also had a hand in the team’s second loss in four starts, citing two bad calls during the height of Meralco’s run in the final period that proved fatal for his team.
The fiery Rain or Shine mentor said Sean Anthony should have been called for an offensive foul for charging past a smaller TY Tang.
Guiao cited another crucial play where Meralco forward Reynel Hugnatan was called for a regular foul instead of what Guiao felt should have been a flagrant penalty 1 for hitting Rain or Shine import Rick Jackson in the head during a rebound battle.
“TY, he’s about 40 or 50 pounds lighter than Sean Anthony, and they (game officials) call it a flop. He (Tang) was in good position and then was called for a foul when Anthony slipped,” Guiao pointed out.
“We also felt that the foul (by Hugnatan) on Rick Jackson was a flagrant 1 at least because Hugnatan clearly had the intention just to hurt,” he added.
“He wasn’t playing the ball, it was above the shoulder and he had a closed fist that would have gotten us two free throws and ball possession, which would have changed the course of the game.”
Despite the loss, Guiao is confident Rain or Shine is still bound to improve even though it will be facing a tough match come Saturday when the Elasto Painters face defending champion Purefoods Star in Dipolog City.
“We’re in good shape as long you’re not in the last four (teams) or you get automatically booted out,” he said. “I also feel we’re still getting better, still trying to peak and trying to get our game.”